Humans have kept honey bees for thousands of years in order to exploit their honey. As part of their reproductive life cycle, each year between April and June the old queen will leave the hive and take several thousand workers with her, in order to establish a new colony away from the hive. This process is called swarming.
It is during this process that the bees can become disturbing to humans. Having left the hive they will come to rest in trees, shrubs etc whilst the queen sends out scouts to find suitable permanent living quarters. The workers will cling around the queen in a large clump numbering up to 30000 – 50000. They may on occasion rest for several days before moving and should not be approached. In this scenario we are usually able to collect the bees alive. However, we are often called upon to deal with a swarm which has found a permanent resting place inside the structure of a building, usually the chimney or wall cavity. In this case we would have to destroy them in the same way as destroying a wasp’s nest. If left to become established, the bees will produce approximately 150 pounds of honey per year. This build up can eventually cause structural damage, with documented cases of chimney breasts collapsing under the weight.
Bumble bees are NOT a pest. If you notice a nest in your garden please do not call asking us to destroy it – we will not! Bumble bees are meant to have nests outdoors. They are non aggressive and will not sting you unless you threaten the nest. If you are frightened stay away from it; no reputable pest control operative will destroy a bumble bee nest unnecessarily.