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bees nest under front steps
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# 1
melancholly
Old 16-06-2006, 10:17 PM
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Default bees nest under front steps

we seem to have a bees nest under the steps up to the front foor (it's a victorian house and there is a crack between the steps and the front wall thanks to the lack of foundations!). i know they're not usually something to worry about, but when there are quite a few swarming about when you're trying to put a key in the lock, it seems like more of a problem......

does anyone have any advice? i don't want to block up the crack and possible force them to find a way into the basement, and i don't really want to kill any, but it's only going to get worse over the summer - and when people ring the doorbell it's not a great welcome!!
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# 2
krishna
Old 16-06-2006, 10:44 PM
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Sounds more like a wasp nest to me. Best dealt with earlier in the season. Try this page for more info. http://www.vegansociety.com/html/peo...st_control.php
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# 3
Gorgeous George
Old 16-06-2006, 10:57 PM
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I once went to the shed to get the lawnmower. Opened the door to find a wasp's nest so went back to the house and told the missus to get me the lawnmower and I'd mow the lawn.

She came back and got the wasp spray, sprayed the nest and got me the lawnmower



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# 4
melancholly
Old 16-06-2006, 11:10 PM
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they're definitely bumble bees (unfortunately we get lots of close up views of them coming in the house!)...... i guess spray might be the only option..... it's just that while wasps seem vindictive and nasty, i feel guilty doing it to bees!
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# 5
tanith
Old 16-06-2006, 11:20 PM
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Have a look for your local Bee Association , we had a bee swarm in our garden several years ago and they came along and removed the nest . They may well be able to tell you what to do or may even come along and remove the nest , if that is possible ,not sure how they would get it out from under the steps though but worth asking them..... they didn't charge us as they were only too pleased to take the nest and find it a home in one of their hives....
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# 6
maka
Old 16-06-2006, 11:20 PM
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dont think you can do this but i had one under a flower bed in the garden i found spraying the nest with deodrant then setting it on fire worked very well they never came back again (those who managed to escape)
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# 7
kittiwoz
Old 17-06-2006, 1:06 AM
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It could be a bees nest or a wasps nest. Wasps have longer pointier abdomens and don't have fur, unlike bees. If you have wasps you can get rid of them using poison such as wasp powder which you can get from garden centres. You should get rid of them in the evening when activity is at a minimum.

If they are honey bees then you should get a beekeeper to come and collect them which you can do either through the beekeper association or by contacting your local council for a list of local beekeepers.

I think mason bees are probably the most likely suspect. Such solitary bees (which live in smaller, unstructured, colonies, compared to honey bees) are protected and so you can't kill them even if you did want to. Solitary bees practicaly never sting because there is no colony and honey store to protect and their stings are pretty puny. If you have solitary bees it seems that you will probably have to wait until the bees cease activity and then block up the hole to prevent then from coming back next year. The only other thing I can think of, and it might not work, is to make or buy a hive for solitary bees and place it somewhere more suitable in your garden and hope they are tempted away. A little sugar water might help with that. Even so bees rarely move once they've established themselves so unless your bees have arrived very recently I wouldn't hold out much hope for a move. Personally, I'd provide them with a hive anyway so they have somewhere to live when they come back next Spring. They are pretty cool to watch and will help pollenate your garden. If you are OS enough to grow your own fruit and veg they are an especially good thing to have. I found a nice site here that tells you about different types of solitary bees and might be useful in identifying what type you have (if it is indeed a nest of solitary bees). It also has suggestions for how to make a hive and links to sites that sell them.

Here are some links to piccies to help with identification:
Wasps; Long, thin abdomen, shiny black and yellow stripes pic1 pic2
Honey bees; Smaller, hairy, black and yelow stripes, pollen sack on hind leg (shown full in 2nd pic) pic1 pic2
Solitary bees; There are different types of solitary bee. The type I'm guessing you might have is the red masonry bee which is a bit smaller and fatter than a honey bee and also hairier with orangey coloured hair
pic1 pic2

Sorry, started writting this post and looking for piccies, then got distracted by my housemate, came back and finished the post so hadn't seen the last three.

For starters, just to make sure they are bumble bees, here's what they look like pic1 pic2. They are bigger and much fatter than honey bees. Bumblee bees are very docile. They are also are an endangered species and as such are protected. You must not poison them with spray. Like the solitary bees they will die out by the end of the Summer and you can seal the hole then. To get rid of them you would have to expose the nest intact (which in your case would mean removing the steps). The intact nest could then be carefully transferred to a ventilated box and transported to a site over two miles away. Normally a beekeeper would do this for a fee but I doub't they'd want to take your steps out.

Maka should give praise for the anonymity of the internet. If I knew your name and address I'd probably report you to the police for that act of environmental vandalism.

Last edited by kittiwoz; 17-06-2006 at 1:48 AM.
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# 8
Debt_Free_Chick
Old 17-06-2006, 6:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiwoz
Maka should give praise for the anonymity of the internet. If I knew your name and address I'd probably report you to the police for that act of environmental vandalism.
Agree with that.

"Bumble bees are endangered, it is illegal to kill the bees, anyone found to have poisoned them risks prosecution, the maximum fine in the Magistrates Court is £25k, unlimited in Crown Court, average fine imposed at present is £1,5k."

If they are bumble bees, they die in late summer anyway. They are completely harmless. Fascinating to watch and safe enough for children to observe them.

More here from the Kent Beekeepers Association. If you really want to remove them, then contact a local beekeeper - you can find one from the County Association here
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# 9
melancholly
Old 17-06-2006, 1:41 PM
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thanks kittiwoz - so much info!
i think we have bumble bees..... although i am going to go and get another look at them in a minute to double check. they are pretty fat and look nothing like wasps.
i'll ring round the beekeepers associations on monday - thanks for all the links everyone - but given the location, i think removing the nest will be a nightmare. i know that they find a new location each year, so maybe we'll just have to put up with it for the summer. i'm still a bit shocked that they could get a nest under there.......... i think come autumn we're going to have to see how big the gap is because it's not a good sign that the steps have fallen away that much............
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