To let bees nest under our house?

(15 Posts)
familygermsareok Thu 26-May-16 16:54:34

Have noticed honeybees going in and out of the ankle level ventilation bricks in a corner of our house for a couple of weeks. I found one inside the house once at the corresponding window and have now put masking tape along the skirting board join in that room. I'm not particularly bothered by them but a little anxious in case they swarm inwards rather than outwards when it's swarming time.
Phoned a local bee keeper for advice, he was a bit non committal but said they were unlikely to swarm inwards though they might be attracted to our chimney so to watch out for that. He did say the nest could be anywhere under the house, not just inside the ventilation bricks, which concerns me a bit, and to just let any that get in the house out the window.
Kids are 13 and 11 so old enough to be sensible. None of us are allergic as far as we know, never been stung by a bee though are ok after wasp stings.
I just wondered if anyone has any experience of this? I quite like watching them come and go but wonder if I'm being a bit blasé about it and if I'll regret leaving them come swarming time?

megletthesecond Thu 26-May-16 17:05:18

Bumping for you. Bees are fab, but maybe not under a house.

soapboxqueen Thu 26-May-16 17:12:39

I didn't think you could do anything about bees anyway. Wasps Yes.

MrPony Thu 26-May-16 17:17:11

I remember my dad saying something about how bad a wasps nest can be for your house but I'm not sure if it's the same for bees. Something to do with them mulching up the wood in the foundations and making it unstable.

On a side note I had no idea how valuable a wasps nest could be. If you ever get one in your house be sure to ring round local fishing gear shops as they'll be desperate to take it off your hands.

TuttiFrutti Thu 26-May-16 17:22:58

Are you sure they are honeybees and not mining bees? We have mining bees under our shed - they have been there for 10 years and are fine, I just leave them to it. They burrow into holes in the ground or under buildings.

I'm a beekeeper's daughter so I know the difference! Google mining bees and see if you recognise the description.

captainproton Thu 26-May-16 17:24:43

We had bees nest in our flower bed by the kitchen window. Google told me that they would move on come Autumn, and they did. We got the odd lost bee in the house but we soon got them out.

I liked them, very nice to watch their coming and going. They will only sting as a last resort, when they sting they die.

SexLubeAndAFishSlice Thu 26-May-16 17:26:53

I'd never heard of mining bees before! Instantly got an image in my head of bees carrying tiny pickaxes and wearing tiny hardhats. Awww smile

BeckyWithTheMediocreHair Thu 26-May-16 17:27:13

It might be different if you had very small children but in your situation I'd leave them to it.

ElizaBB Thu 26-May-16 17:29:02

Are you sure they're honey bees not mason bees ? Any chance of a photo please ? If they are honey bees they are unlikely to swarm inwards. This is basically what happens (sorry if you already know this, I find it fascinating). When the colony gets too big for its home they make a new queen and send out scouts to look for a suitable des-res. Just before the new queen hatches the current queen leaves with loads of others to find a new home. As your bees are not managed by a beekeeper they may well succumb to various diseases and parasites, so they may not survive anyway. As with any hive, don't stand in front of the entrance or you'll get covered in bees returning home. If they are not bothering you fine, it will be very difficult to get them out anyway. I would leave them and let nature take its course. I am a beekeeper and in the past neighbours have called me out to swarms in chimneys etc. They don't survive the winter and I refuse to climb on roofs ! On a warm day you should see loads of bees going in and out, some carrying pollen in on their legs. Enjoy them !

ElizaBB Thu 26-May-16 17:30:41

P.S. All that info only refers to honey bees !

Ybaby Thu 26-May-16 17:31:55

Are you sure they're honey bees? Could be masonry bees which we've had and they've never caused us any problems.

TheTartOfAsgard Thu 26-May-16 17:32:07

I've been wondering the same - I have seen bees (they look like wasps but fluffier) going into a hole in the brickwork of the back of our house. Not seen any inside yet I don't know whether to phone pest control as I thought you were supposed to leave bees alone.

familygermsareok Thu 26-May-16 18:16:22

Ah, thanks everyone, they might be masonry bees, the mining bee pictures on google look a bit more red/orange than mine. When they are active there are about 3 or 4 bees every 5 -10 mins which doesn't sound very many for a honeybee hive?? Sometimes only 2 or 3 in 20 mins if it is quiet. Most have pollen balls on their legs. I will try and get a pic, I'm out tonight and working tomorrow morning but will try tomorrow afternoon.
Thanks for the info too, I am feeling reassured now.
I enjoy watching them, they are fascinating, and I didn't want to be worried. I like bees smile
I think our foundations are stone so wood mulching shouldn't be a problem. Interesting about fishing shops paying for wasps nests. I really hate wasps and don't hesitate to call pest control for them, but maybe I will try fishing shops instead next time grin

megletthesecond Thu 26-May-16 21:22:29

sex at the allotment we make big muddy patches for the bees. Once it's gloopy they come in and take teensy bits to build their nests. After a day or so they make little holes in it to get the wettest mud.

I spend many a happy hour chatting to and watching the bees while I garden. Our allotment neighbour has a couple of hives.

familygermsareok Sun 29-May-16 20:19:43

Some photos, sorry about the delay.
If anyone is able to identify species of bee I would be very interested. Have spent fascinating sunny afternoon watching them come and go smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now