NLB logo

NORTH LONDON BEEKEEPERS

BBKA logo

NESTS OF OTHER BEES & WASPS

Bumble Bees:

(Refer to the information sheet on Bumble bees for more information on them)

Bumble bees nest in a variety of locations, are generally docile and are best left alone.   A cardar bees’ nest is shown to the right.   Typical nesting sites are:

  • Under or in garden sheds
  • Under paving slabs
  • In compost heaps/bins
  • In air vents to dwellings – under or within floors, sometimes within a wall
  • Down mouse holes in the ground
  • Under garden decking
  • On the ground in long vegetation (mainly ginger cardar bees)

These bees can be removed & re-located only if they are causing a real hazard or danger to people, providing the nest can be accessed without damage to property.   Nests underground are also very difficult to find and move.   Please note that most bumble bees leave their nest by August.   A buff tailed bumble bee is shown here.

Removal service: John Hauxwell provides this (contact him by click to email giving full details and phone number).   Cost is £50 for call out + £30 for removal if possible.

Tree Bumble Bees (Bombus Hyporum):

The following is from a Bumble Bee Conservation Trust (BBCT) presentation on Tree Bumble Bees at the BBKA 2011 Spring convention.   BBCT see them as "native" though they are recently arrived; they were not imported by humans but arrived naturally.   They therefore want to see them preserved and protected rather than destroyed.

BBCT reckon that there is going to be a massive increase in calls to swarm coordinators in the summer about these; their spread has been quite considerable - dealing with the calls is likely to be quite a challenge!

Typically they nest in bird nest boxes.   The bees are distinctive, white tailed bumble bees - the only bumble with a white tail.

The nests are distinctive as there may be a cloud of drones hovering at the entrance (up to 50 drones) patrolling and watching out for queens leaving.   Drones will be there for hours.   There may also be yellow spotting on the front of the nest box; they are the only bumbles that nest in bird boxes.

They can be a very defensive and so much more inclined to sting than other bombus species.

The preferred action is to explain the nest will die in a few weeks and leave them alone.

The colonies can be moved (just take the nest box) and relocated, more than 2 miles recommended distance; do this in the evening.   They fly later than honey bees and some will stay out overnight so there will be some lost, so this is seen as a last resort.

BBCT suggest moving them only when ....

  • Small children are at risk
  • to resolve a major domestic crisis
  • to save the colony from major building works
  • if causing a major nuisance (eg on the side of an often used shed, the vibrations of the shed being used, door being shut and the like will aggravate the bees)

Do your utmost NOT to move the colony.

Solitary Bees

Most of these breed under the ground and emerge during the summer and cause little or no inconvenience and should be left undisturbed.   There are occasions when Mason bees are found in old masonry where the mortar is soft.

In both cases removal is not possible.   With poor masonry, the solution is to have the wall repointed.

Wasps

Wasps can be quite a nuisance during the height of the summer and into autumn.   Their nests are often in inaccessible places such as under or in floors, in lofts, but some are underground or in compost heaps.   Beekeepers do not deal with wasps nests and a Pest Control company should be asked to destroy nests if required.   These nests are usually vacated by December and will not be re-occupied the next year.

Hornets

A similar life style and appearance, although much bigger, than wasps.   A hornets’ nest is shown here (wasps have a similar but larger nest).   It is more unusual and very few nests are reported.   Apparently hornets are more docile than wasps, although their sting can be very serious.


Go to top sign Go to top