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  • FIRST POST
    pollyskettle
    Mortar Bees
    • #1
    • 18th Apr 09, 4:46 PM
    Mortar Bees 18th Apr 09 at 4:46 PM
    OK - I have loads of little flying bee things around the brickwork at the back of the house. They vaguely look like honey bees, but they're not. I've phoned OH and he says, based on their behaviour, that they are mortar bees. They are entering through the small rectangular plasticy vent things in between the bricks. I've seen quite a few go in, in one particular place, and a few come back out. At any one time there are around a dozen or so out there. They seem to be centred around the kitchen windows and my little boys window.

    Is there anything I can do to dissuade them from coming near the house? The house is HA owned so I shall call them Monday and see what they can do to sort them out. I have learnt, from the fountain of knowledge that is google, that they have no sting, but I still don't like them lol.

    Any ideas, please?

    ETA - Sorry if this is in the wrong place, I thought you lovely people here may be the best to ask on this subject.
    "A cat can have kittens in the oven, but that don't make them biscuits." - Mary Cooper
    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris
    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
Page 1
  • dave0000
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 09, 4:51 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 09, 4:51 PM
    you could cover the hole with a fine net or some stockings so they cant get in or out and after a few days or weeks they will go and make a new hive some were else
  • pollyskettle
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 09, 4:54 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 09, 4:54 PM
    Thanks for your reply, Dave, I may well give that a go after dark when they're not flying around!

    I did think of trying to build them another home as I want to encourage bees into the garden as I'm growing veg this year, I just don't want them destroying my house. Any ideas on what I could throw together to encourage them to nest in?
    "A cat can have kittens in the oven, but that don't make them biscuits." - Mary Cooper
    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris
    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
  • alemap20
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 09, 4:58 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 09, 4:58 PM
    I have them in my garden wall and can't get rid of them, for the last 4 years they have come and burrow into the soil, when its warm weather they are all crawling around on top of the soil and i hate anything like that. Someone said they are called mining bees and apparantly don't sting but i still would like to get rid of them.

    pam
  • pollyskettle
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 09, 5:00 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 09, 5:00 PM
    4 years My house is a new-build by Persimmon so it won't hold up to 4 years of Mortar Bees
    "A cat can have kittens in the oven, but that don't make them biscuits." - Mary Cooper
    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris
    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
  • dave0000
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 09, 5:05 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 09, 5:05 PM
    Any ideas on what I could throw together to encourage them to nest in?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/wildbritain/gardenwildlife/myspace/content.shtml?28
    • Lotus-eater
    • By Lotus-eater 18th Apr 09, 5:19 PM
    • 10,429 Posts
    • 23,111 Thanks
    Lotus-eater
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 09, 5:19 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 09, 5:19 PM
    Oh FFS!!

    Half the bloody population is putting up bee houses to try and save these endangered NON STINGING bees and you lot want to get rid of them.

    They are called mason bees.

    They are lovely and they brighten up my day when I see them nest in my house.

    Tbh I haven't been so worked up for ages, it's not even your house pollyskettle, you said it was owned by the HA

    I'm going to cool down, please feel free to call me as many names as you like.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
  • pollyskettle
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 09, 5:26 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 09, 5:26 PM
    Not going to call you anything, LE, I'm looking at things to encourage them elsewhere rather than massacre them as I need bees in the garden for my veggies, I just don't particularly want them in the cavity of my house (as in I live there, not that I own it).

    Perhaps you wouldn't have got yourself so worked up had you read this bit:

    I did think of trying to build them another home as I want to encourage bees into the garden as I'm growing veg this year, I just don't want them destroying my house. Any ideas on what I could throw together to encourage them to nest in?
    Originally posted by pollyskettle
    ETA - I do apologise if I have upset you by posting this. As I said I am trying to dissuade them, not kill them. If I can't dissuade them we shall all have to live together in perfect harmony. I do appreciate their value, I just don't like them flying round my doors and windows. I am duty bound to call the HA about them, though. It is their house and they can do damage, so I believe.
    Last edited by pollyskettle; 18-04-2009 at 5:33 PM.
    "A cat can have kittens in the oven, but that don't make them biscuits." - Mary Cooper
    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris
    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
    • marshall2k
    • By marshall2k 18th Apr 09, 5:30 PM
    • 198 Posts
    • 1,165 Thanks
    marshall2k
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 09, 5:30 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 09, 5:30 PM
    Now everyone's got a bee in their bonnet
    Do Something Amazing - Give Blood

  • pollyskettle
    Now everyone's got a bee in their bonnet
    Originally posted by marshall2k
    *groan*
    "A cat can have kittens in the oven, but that don't make them biscuits." - Mary Cooper
    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris
    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
  • annie123
    Sorry, dont see what the problem is? except that you have some soft pointing that needs re doing before next winter

    http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/docs/Mortar%20beesA4.doc
  • pollyskettle
    Oh, don't apologise. it's ok.

    I'd like to point out the following, before I get vilified for not knowing what these darn things are.

    Firstly, I see something looking bee/wasp like disappearing into the vent hole things in my home. As I have no idea what these are, but bee.wasp thing = sting/nest/problem in my mind, I ring my OH.

    He tells me that they are mortar bees and that they will slowly destroy the mortar in my home and I have to get them dealt with before they cause a real problem.

    I google for 'mortar bees' and find a plethora of sites offering to come and kill them for me. I don't think this is a good idea. I also discover that they are probably stingless - this obviously pleases me. I read a couple of .gov.uk sites which inform me that they will indeed damage the house.

    As I'm getting reasonably conflicting information regarding these things, I think it might be best to ask on here as you lot are pretty knowledgeable about most things garden-like. So I do. Next thing I know you're having a go at me and making vague attempts to patronise me as I have never heard of these things before and have no idea:
    a) what damage they can do?
    b) if they are a real problem or not?
    c) if I need to do anything about them pronto?

    Yes, I would prefer it if they moved elsewhere. You may not see what the problem is, Annie, but that's because you are not me and if we were all the same with the same quirks, the world would be a boring place. I don't particularly like flying things. I like looking at butterflies, if they fly near me, I scream like a girl. I wish I didn't, but hey-ho. Therefore little flying bee like insect flying around my back door provides me with a problem.

    If they don't move, I'll live with it. I simply wondered if there was something simple, non-murdering that I could do to encourage them elsewhere.

    Annie - your link doesn't work, I get a word page with the word 'comm' on it and nothing else.

    I will, however, apologise profusely for the only thing which I can, which is my ignorance in, what is obviously, a highly emotive subject.
    "A cat can have kittens in the oven, but that don't make them biscuits." - Mary Cooper
    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris
    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
  • pollyskettle
    OK - now I feel I should apologise for getting a bit stroppy.

    Sorry
    "A cat can have kittens in the oven, but that don't make them biscuits." - Mary Cooper
    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris
    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
    • Lotus-eater
    • By Lotus-eater 18th Apr 09, 6:36 PM
    • 10,429 Posts
    • 23,111 Thanks
    Lotus-eater
    OK - now I feel I should apologise for getting a bit stroppy.

    Sorry
    Originally posted by pollyskettle
    Me too, now please google "mason bees" and find out what you want to know.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
  • pollyskettle
    Me too, now please google "mason bees" and find out what you want to know.
    Originally posted by Lotus-eater
    I'm on it

    Thank you
    "A cat can have kittens in the oven, but that don't make them biscuits." - Mary Cooper
    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris
    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
  • annie123
    Try this link in pdf this time:
    http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/pdf/Mortar%20beesA4.pdf


    they wont damage your brickwork, they enter via already 'damaged' pointing or soft brickwork.
    Its usually via old mortar that has softened and needs re doing. As you are not the home owner, the HA will have someone come down and re do the bit of damaged pointing.
    Past experience of this is that the bees usually find a way out after they are sealed in!, so dont be surprised if you find them elsewhere.
    You can't move I'm afraid they dont make nests.

    I wasn't be statistic, I didnt see what the problem was, but if you dont like flying things .....then I can see what your problem is.
  • pollyskettle
    Thanks for the link, Annie - that one's working fine

    I read somewhere that it's old mortar that they go for, but my house is only 2 years old :confused:. They seem to be entering through those vent things (slim rectangular things in between the brickwork), rather than the mortar/brickwork direct, so I think they're here to stay as they couldn't be sealed.

    You should see me going out the back door. If there's no child handy to take a peek and see if they're flying around, I have to poke my head out a couple of times until I'm certain they're not near and then I'll run out. The neighbours must think I've lost it completely . Comfortingly, your link tells me it's only for a few weeks each spring - I can live with that .
    "A cat can have kittens in the oven, but that don't make them biscuits." - Mary Cooper
    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris
    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
  • annie123
    If its the vent then you could cover it temporarily so that they use another vent away from the back door, or cover any vents near any doors you use, then that way you wont be bothered by them and they can carry on as they were, they wont be there long.
  • pollyskettle
    Thanks, Annie. That seems like a good compromise - I think I'll give that a go.

    "A cat can have kittens in the oven, but that don't make them biscuits." - Mary Cooper
    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris
    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
    • Lotus-eater
    • By Lotus-eater 18th Apr 09, 8:37 PM
    • 10,429 Posts
    • 23,111 Thanks
    Lotus-eater
    If you cover the vent you will probably be killing the bees inside and all the young if they have laid eggs.

    They do go for old mortar, trouble is there isn't always enough around, hence they will be finding other ways to survive.

    Please look after them, they are a gift, you already know they won't hurt you or your family. You've already said you need bees in your garden. I bet you would be on here complaining if your garden wasn't pollinated, well it only gets pollinated if there are actually bees to do it.
    Treat it as a teaching aid and teach your boys something important.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
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