• Site last updated 17/09/2018

Bees & Swarms

Before calling anyone, please read the information below which could save you time and give you peace of mind

Identifying Bees & Swarm Removal

There are over 250 types of bee in the UK, One of which is the European Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera). Our members are volunteers and can only help if you have a swarm or nest of honey bees.  If they are not honey bees leave them alone or, if you feel they must be destroyed, then it will be a matter for pest control.

This what a Honey Bee looks like:

 

Honey Bees are small and vary in colour from golden brown to almost black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our beekeepers are only able to help in cases of Honey Bee swarms

Identifying other types of Bees & Insects

If the insects are not honey bees, the following shows you how to recognise other insects and gives some advice on what to do

Bumblebees:

Bumblebees are often confused with Honey Bees.  However they are rounder, larger and furrier and come with a variety of coloured stripes across the end of their tails.  Are they in a bird box, under the decking, in the compost?

Bumblebees are important pollinators.  Leave the nests alone if possible.  They will die out at the end of summer and will cause no further problems.  Bumblebees rarely sting or attack people or animals and should therefore not be disturbed.  There are 24 different types of native Bumblebee, all of which vary in size and colour.

For more information go to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, or the Buzz About Bees websites

Beekeepers are unable to assist in the removal of Bumblebees

Solitary Bees:

Are there lots of small bees popping in and out of the wall or very small holes in the ground.  Do they have a “reddy/brown” bottom?  Are they almost black?

These are solitary bees, of which there are 225 species recorded in the UK and they pose no threat or harm to you, your family or pets.  Solitary bees are important pollinators and should be left alone. Their numbers will decrease over the summer and their nests should be left alone.

For more information go to Wild About Gardens.

Beekeepers are unable to assist in the removal of Solitary Bees

Wasps:

Is it bright yellow with black stripes?  Very smooth, mainly yellow with black stripes?  Is it in the roof of your house?  Are they coming from a round nest in a tree?  Is there a nest in the shed?  Do they have a high pitched buzz?  Are they after all things sweet?  Then these are probably wasps.

For more information, please go to the Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society (BWARS) website

Beekeepers are unable to assist in the removal of Wasps

European Hornets:

 

Are they very big with a loud buzz?  Are they black and brown with a hint of orange?  Living in the roof or shed?  Do they have a very big curved tail?  These are European Hornets and are valuable pollinators usually found in wooden areas. 

For more information go to the BWARS website.

Beekeepers are unable to assist in the removal of Hornets

Asian Hornets:

Are they dark brown or black with a velvety body?  The queen is up to 30mm long and worker up to 25mm long (smaller than the European counterpart).  Are the legs are yellow at the ends (unlike the European hornet whose legs are brown)?  Do not disturb an active nest.  If you suspect you have found an Asian Hornet please send a photo to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. or contact your local Asian Hornet Action Team

For more information go to www.nonnativespecies.org.

Beekeepers are unable to assist in the removal of Asian Hornets

 

If you still think they’re Honey Bees:

If you have Honey Bees in the structure of your property click here

 

If you are looking at Honey Bees or see a swarm such as shown below, please contact your local Swarm Collector who will provide appropriate help or advice.

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