You're sure they're bees, not wasps etc, and if bees, what sort: honey
bees or bumble bees? Google for images if you're not sure of the
Get a closer look. Binoculars, or a ladder, whatever. If they're
coming and going through a gap somewhere, they're probably already
established. Can you get to that position from inside the roof to see
if there's a nest? You can usually get quite close to a nest without
them becoming aggressive, although if they do start taking an
interest, back off smartly. If there is a nest, I'd contact your local
beekeeping organisation, and someone might be grateful for the colony.
Start here https://www.bbka.org.uk/ If they're honey bees, once they
become established they could be there for years, but wasps and
bumbles will only be there until mid/late autumn.
Wait until dusk, spray some wasp/bee killer (a whole can) into any hole
you can see.
Ideally, try to see where the bees are entering first.
I used an elastic band to keep the spray going and left the can in place
while 'retiring', having bunged up the hole with a rag.
In my case it was wasps. A day or so later, I removed the rag and there
was no more activity. I then lifted the tiles after a couple of days and
cleaned out the mess. Don't rush it.
Ideally, you want a cool evening, they 'retreat' at dusk when it is cool.
Do that with bees and leave even the smallest opening and the nest will be
robbed out for its honey by bees from elsewhere, who then carry a small amount
of the poison back, which then poisons that hive and before you know it there
are dead bees all around the vicinity and some very pissed off beekeepers.
What do you mean by "some"?
It won't be a swarm of honey bees unless you have a strange idea of "some".
Now that the weather has warmed up, it could be that a number of
solitary bees are finding good places up there for their burrows/nests
or whatever they are called.
No reason to get rid of them IMHO. This won't suddenly turn into a swarm.
Bees will normally leave you alone, unless you threaten them.
Wasps will be attracted to food and you might consider them a nuisance
if you have barbecues, parties outside, etc. In that case you won't want
them to build a nest inside the roof, it will start small but may grow
year on year. Normally not difficult to destroy with a DIY spray when
small. Established and "hidden" ones are probably best left to the experts.
No it won't. A wasps' nest only lasts a season, not even a year.
Construction starts in the spring and the nest is inhabited until the
frost kills them all off. Nests are not reused (not by wasps, anyway).
Only the queens survive, they hibernate over winter in places such as
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an
So where do the monsters come from then? Surely they are not built in a
single season? I had always *assumed* they were added to year on year by
a queen which had hibernated nearby on the basis that it was a safe
site. I'm happy to be proved wrong. I've seen pictures of ones inside a
loft with a sort of "tunnel" to the outside. Easy to see how that might
be re-used. Maybe it is a different wasp.
I'm not sure how big they can get in a single season, most of the ones I
have seen have been golf ball sized with only a couple of dozen cells.
Do wasps from different nests fight? When you have a dozen or so around
a pub garden, do they all come from the same nest?
A wasp nest only lasts for one year. In the late summer and through
into autumn, the worker wasps and old queen all die leaving only the
young queens who find somewhere to hibernate (usually in your trousers
hanging in the wardrobe!). They re-appear in the spring and make a new
nest somewhere else. They don't return to the old nest; it doesn't get
A beehive can contain 50,000 bees, all produced in a single season.
Actually, more like half a season, as that's the peak number,
mid-season. And at that time of year there's a big turnover in
numbers, as they only live about six weeks. They work themselves to
death. Bees that over-winter last about six months, but there's far
fewer of them and they don't have to do any work.
Leave them bee.
If it's around the guttering, even if they're wasps they'll not cause a
problem as you'll not inadvertently disturb them.
Wasps are a bit tetchy with regards to what they consider an attack IME
and most of the time it's accidental disturbance of their secret nest
Live with them and give yourself a pat on the back from mother nature
for allowing them to set up home for a very short while in your
loft/cavity wherever they just want to do bee things and we should be
helping them not destroying them for no reason.
I'll tell you about last weeks stupid client and "her" bees.
I said to her"BTW you have a bees best in your bird box at the back of
I discovered this when drilling through the garage wall to fit a dusk
till dawn sensor.
She then said "That might explain why I see a lot of bees, Ill have to
get someone in to get rid of them"
About 20 minutes later the next door but one neighbour came around (she
had seen my van and wanted a price for an outside socket).
I went around and this neighbour had bee hives not bees nests in her
garden. I pointed out to the my client that that is probably where the
bees are coming from and she replied "does she know that sees has got
bees, and do you think I should offer to go halves with her to get rid
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