Bees are fascinating creatures who work collectively in remarkably organised colonies. Bees are also vitally important to us, as they pollinate plants, including the crops we need to survive.

Usually, bees cause us no problems. They work away in our gardens, pollinating our plants and producing honey. However, occasionally you may find that bees have set up home in your property or you may find a swarm in your garden. This can be quite a stressful situation.

Don’t worry – it can be resolved.

Bee control and removal

Signs of a bee infestation

The first sign that you have a bee nest in or around your home is an excessive number of bees, especially inside the house. If the bees are located on a plant or shrub that is nectar rich it is likely that they are just feeding and going back to a nest somewhere else so there is no need to worry. However, if you have lots of bees in your home, then you should seek expert advice as soon as possible.

It’s a good idea to check that the insects are in fact bees and not wasps as honey bees and wasps look quite similar. Bees are covered in hair while wasps have a smooth body and legs. Wasps are also bright yellow and black in colour. If you are not sure, an expert can come and identify them for you and let you know the best way to proceed.

A visible nest

You may find a visible nest in your property. A honey bee nest is made from a series of interlocking hexagonal cells made of wax, giving it the unmistakable honeycomb structure. They are very different from wasps’ nests which are spherical, with greyish brown papery walls.

If you are not sure if you have a nest or where it is, then watch the bees to see if they keep going back to a specific spot. This will guide you to where the nest may be located. If you can’t find a nest but are concerned about the number of bees in your home, then you should call an expert to find out if there is indeed a nest in your home.

Dark patches on the walls or ceilings

Occasionally you may notice dark patches on your walls or ceilings. This can be caused by honey seeping into walls and ceilings from a nest built above or between them. If you see this, in combination with a large number of bees in your home, then you should seek expert help immediately.

What to do if you have a bees’ nest in your property

If possible, you should leave a bees’ nest alone. If the bees have made their nest in a quiet part of your garden, then simply cordon off that area and leave them undisturbed. By late July, most bees will go away and not return to the nesting site the following year.

However, if the nest is in your property, it may not be possible to leave it alone. Having a large number of bees in your home is not safe for your family, especially if you have very young children or anyone in the household is allergic to bee stings.

In this case, you will need expert help. Generally, beekeepers will not be able to remove a nest. However, it is often possible for a pest control company to remove the nest to a safer place.

If the nest is in a difficult to access area such as a chimney or wall cavity, then relocating it may not be an option. If the location of a nest is dangerous, and removal not possible, then it may, unfortunately, need to be eradicated.

How a bees’ nest may damage your property

If a nest is allowed to grow large, it will become very heavy and could cause structural damage to your property. In addition, honey and melted wax seeping from the nest can damage the interior finishes in your home.

Once the nest becomes overcrowded the bees will swarm and create a new nest, which could very likely also be in your property.

Why you should never undertake a bees’ nest removal yourself

Although bees are not generally aggressive, they may become so if they feel that their queen is being threatened. Bees can release pheromones to attract other bees from the colony if they are under threat. This can make it dangerous to remove a bees’ nest without the right technical knowledge and safety equipment.

In addition, removing a nest yourself can threaten the honey bee population in your area. If chemicals are used to destroy the nest, then the honey in the nest will become contaminated. If the nest is not sealed off completely, bees from other nests may come and take the honey back to their nests and thus contaminate them.

Lastly, blocking up access points and sealing nests will reduce the likelihood of bees accessing the same area in the future.

Your building insurance might provide cover for the removal of a honeybee colony that has set up home within the fabric of your building.

What to do if you have a swarm

If you find a swarm in your garden do not panic. It will usually move on in a few hours or at most a few days. If you urgently need it removed because someone in your household has a bee sting allergy or it is dangerously close to your home, then you can contact a beekeeper who may be happy to take the swarm off your hands.

While many of us are happy to see bees in our garden, it is important to get expert help if you think there is a nest in your property. Pest control experts will know the best solution to your bee problem and can guide you to find the right option for you and your family.

Professional bees’ nest removal

At Pest Hunter we provide a professional bees’ nest removal service. Our trained and friendly operatives are highly skilled at detecting and eradicating bees nests. Pest Hunter is one of the foremost experts in bee control in the South East.

Honey bees swarm if the nest becomes overcrowded or they need to abandon their existing nest for some reason. In this case, a swarm of bees will search for a new nest. They may stop to rest in a tree or shrub as they seek to find a new home.

Areas of Kent and Sussex that we cover: Bromley, Gillingham, Faversham, Canterbury, Folkestone, Dover, Cranbrook, Ashford, Broadstairs, Edenbridge

Photo credits

  • Bee isolated: @ingram on
  • Bumblebees sitting on a lavender: @wirestock on
  • Bumblebees in the daytime: @wirestock on

About Pest Hunter

Pest Hunter is a member of The Hunt Group, a family run business operating since 1983 which, like Pest Hunter, prides itself in offering a friendly, caring service.

All our customers are important, from small residential properties to large businesses and we provide the same high standards and customer service to everyone.

Customer satisfaction is paramount. We provide the highest level of customer care and support with excellent value that you might expect from a small company but with the reliability and quick response of a large company.

Pest Hunter van side on view