BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • Best solution for a potential honey bee nest removal

 #2582  by CraigLeyth
 01 Apr 2019, 22:51
Hi there,

I wondered if you could advise me on a potential honey bee nest in my house.

We have a false ceiling in our bathroom and I suspect we have a colony in the space that they could have accessed via the old extraction fan hole from the loft space. Last year we had a leak in the bathroom that mysteriously stopped. The neighbours said they had seen some bees going in and out of the roof at the same time that this happened. At the end of the summer we had about 30 or so of what I thought (from checking online images) were honey bees appear in the bathtub and around the bathroom, some dead and some still alive but they died soon after. I’ve just been in the bathroom and noticed some buzzing sounds again. My concern is how close the nest could be to us and our daughter, is it dangerous, or could it be a new more sinister intruder this time around? I wondered if there is anyone we could contact that you’d recommend?
We are in the Leigh/Wigan area. Our council website is mainly for pest control and they don’t provide any service for bees. And I’m not sure if a local beekeeper would be of any help as it may involve removing from the inside of our home.

I hope somebody can help as if I can help it, I’d rather not eradicate them.

Kind regards

 #2583  by Patrick
 01 Apr 2019, 23:32
Hi Craig

Bad luck. Can you see the extraction fan outlet? If they are honey bees they will be flying on sunny days. You may find a few dead one chucked out underneath it and could send an image from your phone to one of the local bee association swarm collectors, if you google them, for a definite ID.

If it is honey bees and they are in your ceiling space you will probably find local beekeepers will not be able to help you, as accessing the colony could involve partly dismantling the ceiling - which they are likely to be neither equipped, competent or insured to do. In your position I would not even want them to attempt it. Personally I do not get involved in collecting swarms once they are within built structure.

It may be a properly qualified and insured pest control job I am afraid. If destruction is considered the only sensible option they should have the proper chemicals and means of application to keep your family safe.
 #2584  by Guest
 01 Apr 2019, 23:52
The big question is, how dangerous is it to have them so close to us? I would guess that after the Summer the bees won’t be there anymore, as of last time?

I’m only guessing they have come in through the old extractor cavity as it isn’t visible now and is now covered with a false ceiling, which is also of concern as they’ve got a pretty big space in the void for expansion under there.

If worse comes to worse, as you say we’ll have no choice but to get in the exterminators! It’s the easier option but I don’t like killing bees, however if it’s them or me... :D
 #2589  by DianeBees
 02 Apr 2019, 09:09
There is a pest controller who spoke recently at the Lancashire Spring Convention about honey bee removals.

Info about the course he runs is here

his email is:
 #2602  by AdamD
 02 Apr 2019, 19:45
If bees get into a room, they usually fly to the light of a window to get out and they are unlikely to cause you any specific bother - they won't just sting you for the sake of it but may respond to fast movements like flapping arms. 'Keep calm and open the window' would be the thing to do. That would make a good slogan on a T shirt! :lol:

Honeybees remain as a colony over winter, bumble bees and wasps don't.

If you do have to have the bees (if that's what they are) destroyed, make sure that the pest controller seals up the nest as otherwise other bees could find the nest to rob honey and take back poison to their own nest which we don't want.
 #2686  by Fishman
 11 Apr 2019, 11:34
Any update on this as you should definitely have seen some activity over the last couple of weeks / days.
I would say if your looking at a non invasive removal you'd have to go pipe trap-out but it would be time consuming, if up at height potentially dangerous and doesn't always work either.

But you basically encourage the bees to start a new nest outside of where the current one is they will then move brood, pollen and honey stores into that box. If the 2 nests are different enough a new queen will be raised in the new box or the old one moves out into it. Over time the nest in your house depletes and it either is emptied by the current bees or if a queen stays inside she should abscond and find somewhere new to live. There would be pipe sealing the current exit forcing the bees to travel through their new desired home being lazy they should start building comb inside the hive as it saves travelling right into their original nest.

The advantage is that the honey should be removed and just leave clean combs which need to sealed as they will attract another swarm. If the hive is killed without removing the contents then you have combs which will eventually go mouldy and leak fermenting honey into the cavity and that is something you definitely don't want.
 #2768  by Guest
 19 Apr 2019, 21:46
Definitely some activity to and from the roof above the bathroom during daylight hours and I can also hear some high pitched buzzing noises whilst in the bathroom at night when it’s quiet.

I’m really not sure how I should tackle this. Either just get pest control in or try to contact a local beekeeper however this option doesn’t seem doable because of the location of the bees. I’ve got heaps on the go at the minute too!
 #2769  by Guest
 19 Apr 2019, 21:50
I took some photos through the light fittings with a phone at the time of the original posts and couldn’t see anything up there. So I’m guessing they are in the roof space. These houses are odd though, there’s only crawl space and the bathrooms are separate on top of a flat part of the roof. Aside from going up onto the roof, christ knows how anyone would access them. I don’t fancy getting chased off the roof by a swarm!
 #2774  by Fishman
 20 Apr 2019, 09:48
That sounds like a nightmare job, so they are in the crawl space? Can that be accessed through an access hatch at all? If it could I have a vent fan that can be attached to a tube to extract the bees straight off the comb. It has quite a level of pull and once most of them are removed the job becomes a little more manageable. The trouble then would be the removal of the combs and trying to make sure the queen is extracted without being damaged. I suppose the question is how big is the crawl space and is there access to It from below rather than on the roof?

You then need to make sure the hole is blocked on otherwise you will have the same problem once the bees swarm over this summer. Even worse is that these bees in the space are probably planning on swarming at some point in the near future.
 #2775  by Fishman
 20 Apr 2019, 10:44
That sound definately like a bees nest I can't help thinking you are going to need the nest removing as any honey left will ferment, then go mouldy and can cause some structural problems with the moisture entering the plasterboard and the smell wouldn't be great. It is difficult one and I think you really need someone to have a look and look at your possible options. If access on only on the roof then I think alot of people will rule themselves out of that one :o
Bees can be daft sometimes and don't realise the trouble that are causing.