Bees

Bees

There are different types of bees that may require different treatments. The types are detailed below.

Masonry Bees

They may occasionally cause problems. Unlike honey bees these are solitary insects. They nest in a wide range of cavities some of which they excavate themselves. The nest is constructed of sand grains and other particles glued together with saliva. Masonry bees are normally harmless, their sting seemingly unable to penetrate human skin.

On occasions though they can present a problem due to their ability to build nests by tunnelling through soft brick mortar, generally in older properties. Only rarely do large numbers occur together but due to the fact that vulnerable buildings tend to be repeatedly attacked, quite severe damage can occur over several seasons.

Modern houses are not immune either. Small gaps left in otherwise sound mortar may be colonised. Although this is not a problem from a structural point of view, some householders are distressed by such activity. In the long term, re-pointing with sound mortar is the only answer. This must be thorough however, as bees hunting for a nest site will soon locate areas that have been missed.

Honey Bees

Providers of honey and almost universally viewed with affection by the public, honey bees are one of the most well-known insects. Many species of bee are found in the United Kingdom. Some produce honey, some do not. Some live in highly organised colonies, some on their own. Some sting, some do not.

Bees rarely present problems as pests. However, feral swarms can set up home in undesirable places such as chimneys and wall cavities. They will sting when provoked. Attempts to kill them will provoke them.

If you find a bee’s nest, you should contact your local bee keeper to assess if they can remove the nest for you. Bee keepers may be reluctant to take such swarms due to a parasitic mite which many swarms carry.

If you do want the bees treated, then control is best left to professionals. Bees are not protected and can be controlled at the property occupier’s / owners request.

Once the nest has been killed, efforts must be made to remove the nest or seal it in. This should normally undertaken a couple of days after treatment and it is the property occupier’s / owners responsibility to remove the nest or seal it in.

Whether removal is achievable or not, the entrances to the nest site must be sealed off. This will prevent potential robber/other bees from becoming affected by the insecticide. Insects and mites will also thrive on the honey and dead grubs within the nest and may cause problems.

We can undertake nest removal or sealing the nest in but it will be at additional cost and if in a chimney or at a height above gutter level, scaffolding will need to be provided for this to be undertaken safely.

Bumble Bees

Bumble bees are social insects: they live in a colony with a queen and her daughters (the workers). Bumblebees have an annual lifecycle, with new nests being started each spring by queens. The queen bumble bees are very large, and from February onwards can be seen feeding on flowers such as willow catkins, bluebells and lungwort, or flying low over the ground searching for a nest site.

Some species prefer to nest underground in abandoned burrows of rodents, while others nest just above the ground in dense grass or leaf-litter. The Queen stocks her nest with pollen and nectar, and lays her first batch of eggs. She incubates them, much as a bird would. Sitting on the eggs while shivering her flight muscles to produce warmth.

When the eggs hatch the legless grubs consume pollen and nectar, grow rapidly, and pupate after a few weeks. A few days later the first workers hatch from their pupae and begin helping their mother, expanding the nest and gathering food. By mid-summer nests of some species can contain several hundred workers. At this point the queen starts laying both male and female eggs.

The females are fed extra food and become future Queen's. Both males and new queens leave the nest to mate, and the new Queen's burrow into the ground to wait until the following spring. The males, workers, and the old queen die off in the autumn, leaving the nest to decay.

How we can help:

If possible always leave bee nests alone to thrive as they are rarely aggressive and their presence is actually beneficial for gardeners and crops. If you suspect you have honey or bumble bees and they are causing you problems then we would recommend you use a British Bee Keepers Association recommended swarm collector. Sometimes depending on where the nest is located and the time of year they cannot be relocated and treatment may be the only option.
We treat nests whether in your property or garden by using a residual insecticide through high pressure application, hand pump or aerosol.

After the treatment it takes up to 48 hours for the nest to completely die.

If you want the nest removing and it is easily removalable then we will charge the same fee as your treatment, some nests due to location are unable to be removed.

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