Swarming Bees In Bristol

Honey bees swarm in a Bristol garden.

Are Bees Protected?

NO! – Bees in Bristol Do Not Enjoy Protection Under The Law! However, in our opinion, control and removal of bee nests and colonies should be better regulated with accreditation. Over the last decade, the ways in which we tackle bees has become safer and stricter which is good news.

What Kind Of Bee Do I Have?

The most common species or kinds of bee you are likely to encounter and possibly view as a nuisance or a pest include the Honey Bee, Bumble Bee, Masonry Bee, Mining Bee and Carpenter Bee.

Honey Bees

A swarm of Honey bees enter a disused chimney.

The Honey bee is the best-known bee and the only species used in the UK for honey production. These social insects live in colonies with a single queen and a cast of workers. Large Swarms have more than 50000 insects, often causing alarm and panic.

Bumble Bees

Tree bumble bees nesting in loft insulation.

The Bumble bee like the honey bee is a social insect living in colonies at low levels, under paths, hedges, in plant pots and in walls.

Most problems occur when an aggressive Tree Bumble Bee nest in people’s attics is disturbed, causing the ceiling to buzz and anyone in the attic to depart in a big hurry!

Masonry Bees

masonry bee control
Masonry bees have powerful mandibles.

Our native Masonry bees are solitary, and although they can live near one another, this bee species does not have a queen or social structure.

Mason bees can become a serious structural risk to your property if they are burrowing into the soft mortar or the bricks because the numerous holes allow water penetration.

Mining Bees

mining bees Bristol
Mining bees infest a garden lawn in Bristol

The Mining bee is solitary but often lives in close proximity to others of the same species. This bee does not have a queen or social structure.

The mining bee is best known for its frenzied mating swarms that can exceed a thousand insects.

Why Are Some Bees Killed?

Not everyone loves honey bees. Those who suffer both phobias and severe allergic reactions like the life-threatening condition Anaphylactic shock, need to be better protected.

Anaphylactic shock is caused by your bodies response to bee venom, affecting adults and children.

In the vast majority of cases, probably 95%, the bees disembark before we arrive or are collected to be re-homed in hives throughout your local countryside.

Common Reasons For Swarm Control

When a honey bee swarm actively enters a residential building through a roof, chimney or wall void, lethal control is often unavoidable.

There is also a common misconception that beekeepers will come rushing to help you.

We find that in 95% of cases a beekeeper won’t be available or even contactable in an emergency.

A shortage of available beekeepers have necessitated the need for us become very experienced in managing swarms safely.

Negligent Use Of Pesticides

We have come to realise, that where we don’t control the final 5% safely and sensitively, there are plenty of inappropriate chemicals that amateurs can purchase, to kill a swarm themselves.

Indiscriminate pesticide use poses a greater risk, and often contaminates surrounding hives, causing untold damage to local bee populations.

Customers have tried to kill bees with white spirit, petrol, expanding foam, silicone sealant, boiling water, high-pressure jetters and fire!

For us, we must stress control is always a last resort. We require householder consent and written instruction during the inspection visit before any treatment.

How Dangerous Are Bees In Bristol?

Angry swarms equipped with thousands of stinging individuals are a formidable force of nature.

Fortunately, most swarms are only aggressive when threatened or disturbed. The exception to this is to remember that a compact, settled swarm in a shrub or on a fence post won’t be protecting any brood, so is unlikely to attack if left alone.

An unsettled, fragmented swarm with lots of frantic activity across a broad area is likely to be riskier.

What’s needed, is a visit from one of our experts. Very often by the time we get to you, the swarm has flown off.

Are Bee Stings Dangerous?

Bee venom isn’t pleasant. If you do get stung, it’s essential to remove the sting. You can achieve this by scraping it off with a nail or credit card as soon as possible.

Because we all react differently to stings, it’s important to remember that some people can die from a single sting.

A severe allergic reaction to a sting may result in Anaphylactic Shock; a life-threatening condition.

We recently wrote a blog post on “how to avoid being stung“. Learn how you can avoid getting stung today!