PEST MANAGEMENT FOR BEES
Due to the decline in the uks population of bees over the past few years, we have taken the decision that we will not kill bees unless it is absolutely necessary, however we are more than happy to give advice.
During the months of May, June and July, honey bees swarm. This is when a colony splits into two and one group goes to find a new home. This is when you see large numbers of bees gathering together, often in trees. They can stay like this for anything from 2 hours to 4 days before flying off again. This is when, if the swarm is accessible, a bee keeper can remove them. If however the swarm has gone, for example, into a hole in the wall or into a chimney, then the swarm cannot be removed without major building work to remove the queen. In these circumstances we advise leaving the colony as they will not do any damage to the structure of the premises and are generally too high to become a nuisance. If they do become a nuisance, then we understand that they may have to be killed, but any access holes need to be closed up as soon as possible to prevent another colony moving in.
Bumble bees start with a queen coming out of hibernation in the spring and starting a new nest. There are about half a dozen common bumble bees, which create small colonies of between 50 - 250 and will stay around until August. They will not cause any damage to the fabric of a building and are generally very friendly and will only sting if seriously provoked. Unfortunately it is very difficult to remove a colony of bumble bees and re home them, therefore we advise that they are left alone. If however they do become a nuisance, we will understand and reluctantly kill them.
The other common variety of bees are solitary bees that build their nests in either holes in the ground, or holes in the walls, often together. Again these are friendly bees who won't do any damage to the structure of the building and will only stay around for up to 4 weeks.
If you believe that you have an accessible swarm of honey bees, either contact us and we can put you in touch with a bee keeper or contact the Cambridge Bee Keepers Association.