Bee problem

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by Charlie - Minton, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. Charlie - Minton

    Charlie - Minton Funster

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    We've got some bees under the static caravan somewhere between the decking & the van itself :(

    Now the only way to get at them is to crawl across the concrete base so I'm sure no one else is going to have a go :(

    I would like to leave them unharmed but can't risk the grandchildren, dog or us being stung as the decking is where we eat breakfast tea etc.
    The decking is is not really an option to take apart without an awful lot of disruption.

    So if I leave them alone this year will they move on or just keep expanding ?

    Anything I can do to discourage them staying here or is it a case of B&Q wasp powder (last resort)
     
  2. laird of Dunstan

    laird of Dunstan Funster Life Member

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    Call a local bee keeper ,try anything other than killing them ,bees are having a very hard time at the moment ,there's a parasite that's wiping them out
    there's plenty of info on Google to help you find a bee keeper:)
     
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  3. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    A bee keeper will remove them for you and in some cases for nothing. Try that route first.
     
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  4. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    Bees unlike wasps will come back, that is now their home so you will have to get in a person who knows how to handle them for removal.
     
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  5. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    You need to know what sort of bees they are. If it is a honey bee it will look like this: (which probably won't help as there are several species of mining bee which look the same but are just smaller!)

    [​IMG]

    Anything else and it isn't a honey bee and the nest or nests will be gone by the end of the summer. If they are honey bees then they will be there for several years but the location you describe doesn't sound a choice one for honey bees as they generally like to be a few feet off the ground, but it is possible. To remove them a beekeeper would need to gain access, if this isn't possible or not safe then you will either have to live with them, and you could try blocking off where they a flying in and opening up another way for them on a side less used, or get a pest company in who will destroy the nest. Don't be too alarmed about this, an adult honey bee only lives for about 6 weeks and the nest, if it is honey bees will unfortunately die out in a few years due to the parasitic mite called varroa, which is sadly now more or less endemic amongst honey bees in this country apart from a very few remote spots. It is a point of debate amongst beekeepers whether there is a viable wild population of honey bees in this country now and the evidence suggests there isn't and they can only exist when nurtured by beekeepers.

    Honey bee nests can be huge, tens of thousands of bees, all other bee colonies are much smaller, bumble bees typically a few hundred and mining bees are solitary but tend to nest together wherever the soil is suitable for excavating.

    My guess is you either have bumble bees or they are some sort of mining bee. The latter will only trouble you for a few weeks then you won't see them again until the same time next year and they are more or less harmless anyway.

    If they are bumble bees (they look big and bumbly) try and live with them, as mentioned above, try screening off where they are flying in to divert them to somewhere you can keep away from. A windbreak might work. Bumble bees are great pollinators and apart from a few species are generally under threat throughout Europe.

    You may also just have wasps - I've been called out to "bees nests" only to discover they are just the common or garden yellow and black wasps (of which there are seven species in the UK but we won't go there as they all look more or less the same). Wasps do of course a lot of good, eating aphids etc but folk don't like them nesting near them understandably so in this case just look in the yellow pages for your local "Bug-A-Zap" company and let them do their worst.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
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  6. laird of Dunstan

    laird of Dunstan Funster Life Member

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    There you go :) this forum just Buzzes with help (y)
     
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  7. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    We had ground living mining bees for several years. They were rather fun. When around the area of their holes, they mostly flew about a foot off the ground. They were never any problem. Adults, children & the cat all walked through without even any accidental collisions, never mind any stings. I suspect they eventually succumbed to over-predation by the resident blackbird couple who take up residence in the grape vine we have under the patio roof - the bees were right next to the edge of it so it was meals on a plate pretty much for the blackbirds. I don't know if they ever ate the adults, but I suspect they emptied out the nest holes.

    A farming acquaintance has a south facing farm office wall made of very soft brick. The bees burrow into it & on a hot summer's day the wall heats up to such an extent that it starts to melt the honey & it runs down the wall.
     
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  8. Tom A

    Tom A Funster

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    We had exactly the same problem under the back of our static.
    Couldn't get under to see what they were up to but after about 6 weeks they've gone.
     
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  9. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Forgot to add above, a bumble bee nest will be gone by the end of the year. All the bees, like wasps, die out apart from a few queens which hibernate and then start a new nest in the spring. You may have seen really big bumble bees exploring round the bottom of hedges and on banks in the early Spring - these are over-wintered queens which are looking for a suitable place to start a new colony.
     
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  10. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    We've got some lovely little mining bees in the corner of our 'inner garden' area, they were on the top of a mound of soil but when we cleared it they decided they liked it there and nested behind the timber support for the gazebo! They are very, very 'tame' have made no attempt whatsoever to sting, in fact we can get them onto a piece of wood etc to look at them closely and they don't make a murmur ... not even a buzz! They are really, really cute and apparently it is possible to stroke them according to the info I found on the internet as they are so placid.

    Bees 1.JPG Bees 2.JPG
     
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  11. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Most of the summer we have had a Bees nest in the corner of the bungalow , don't know what kind they were but they were quite small buzzed around a lot but did not bother us and we did not bother them, they have now disappeared .
    Though the strangest thing I seen while chatting to a neighbour and watching the little bees was a much larger bee came along grabbed hold of the little bee and flew off with it. Our neighbour said this happened and the larger bee was taking the smaller one as a slave, don't know if this is true or not.
     
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  12. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    The bigger bee was from the immigration branch and was taking the little back to it's own hive....:sneaky:
     
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  13. Charlie - Minton

    Charlie - Minton Funster

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    Thanks for your help folks(y)

    Just got back & said bee's are hiding so no photos tonight:(

    Earlier on today I crawled under the caravan to find exactly where they are much to the wife's dismay :LOL:

    They live in the sort of place Bin Laden would of hid.
    A concrete slab with a 4" brick wall built on this with a 3'x2'x3" flagstone above this is a 30' x 8' timber decking.

    They fly in through the 3 open underneath sides of the caravan & also through the 1/2" gaps between the deck boards land on the brick wall & walk through a small hole in the mortar.

    For a bee keeper to get to them would not be an option without major works :(

    But we really care about nature to a point so will give them the benefit of the doubt but really value your advice(y)

    These are definitely not wasps as I have an ongoing battle each year with these pests in the roof the ground & the loft at home. Absolutely
    no mercy shown(y)

    These guys are like medium sized bumble bees they seem in no rush to get into the nest but float about for a while allowing the dog plenty of time to zero in on them:mad:

    I will get a photo in the morning as plenty of them about when it's sunny.
     
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  14. Derbyshire wanderer

    Derbyshire wanderer Funster Life Member

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    Reading the replies, we have these under the shed. For weeks we have seen them coming and going and our Labrador spends a lot of time looking till she can get one on the lawn. We were worried she would be stung but a pest controller I know said they were possibly masonry bees? Apparently quite harmless and judging by how many the dog has mauled and sniffed, this appears to be the case.
    We are going to see if they return next year. We would prefer them not to but really they have done no harm.
    As for the odd wasp that gets in the house, no option - it gets zapped with the electric tennis racket!
     
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  15. Charlie - Minton

    Charlie - Minton Funster

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    Have you ever tried taking a photo of an incoming bee on an IPad in bright sunlight :(
    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
     
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  16. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Yep, bee's and they will have no interest in you what so ever.
     
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  17. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Agreed. they will ignore you & you can ignore them - apart from the interest of watching them go to & fro.
     
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  18. Charlie - Minton

    Charlie - Minton Funster

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    Which type of bee are they please.
    Getting used to them popping in & out mind you the dog really doesn't like them even leaves his bone to get them:eek:
     
  19. Highwayman1

    Highwayman1 Funster

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    Bumble bees (methinks DBK will confirm that too). I think they are protected species now. My mate who`s a bee keeper had some in his garage roof space. He left them alone and they did the same.
     
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  20. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Possibly Bombus Terrestris or Bombus lucorum see here for the common species: http://www.bumblebee.org/key.htm

    If you want the full nine yards on bees try this site: http://www.bwars.com/index.php?q=species_gallery

    If you can live with them until the Autumn they will be gone by winter.

    You would think bumblebees with only about 25 species in the UK would be easy to identify but they are not - they are quite variable and for each species there are four different castes - Queens, daughter queens (smaller than full queens but still egg laying) worker (sterile females) and drones. Each looks different and is a different size.

    Useful pub quiz question: "What is the difference between a bee and a wasp?" The answer is not appearance but diet - bees are exclusively* vegetarian but wasps are carnivores, feeding their young on chewed up aphids and that sort of delicacy. The adults have a sweet tooth but the larva feed on meat, so to speak.

    *There are one or two species that haven't read the book so don't obey the rules but these are best ignored as they live in Africa!
     
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