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  • FIRST POST
    • zacepi
    • By zacepi 10th May 18, 8:50 AM
    • 19Posts
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    zacepi
    Do bees use wasps nests?
    • #1
    • 10th May 18, 8:50 AM
    Do bees use wasps nests? 10th May 18 at 8:50 AM
    Last summer I noticed wasps flying into a hole in the eaves of the house so there was in all probability a nest up there.

    For the last week since it got warm, I have noticed lots of bees in the house, generally on the same side of the house where the wasps were last summer. However I haven't seen them fly into the eaves at all so can't be sure.

    Could the bees be using the old wasps nest? Or are they likely to be swarming somewhere nearby?

    Their body is almost completely black so I think they are honey bees but really not sure. I do have a picture

Page 1
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 10th May 18, 11:13 AM
    • 2,109 Posts
    • 3,225 Thanks
    shortcrust
    • #2
    • 10th May 18, 11:13 AM
    • #2
    • 10th May 18, 11:13 AM
    Just a guess, but I think it's unlikely they'll use the actual nest (although think of hermit crabs...). However, there's obviously a lovely wasp/bee suitable space that might appeal to them.

    I'd be interested to a more educated response.
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 10th May 18, 2:02 PM
    • 4,269 Posts
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    DaftyDuck
    • #3
    • 10th May 18, 2:02 PM
    • #3
    • 10th May 18, 2:02 PM
    Wasps won't reuse a previous nest. Bees (of the bumble variety) are more opportunist, and will use anything suitable as a starter nest, while honeybees start from scratch when they do build a new nest, but the old nest can be used for decades. Yesterday, I was out quietly trying to move some bumble bees on from a pile of soil in the drive where they'll be squashed.... They've moved on to a small hole in the soil that leads to the conservatory soakaway. So, no flooding allowed this summer.

    Bumbles could, therefore, be using the wasp next, but I think shortcrust is right; theres a nice, wzrm, dark space for them, and they are probably building from scratch.

    Bumble bee hives don't grow anything like as large as honeybees, they aren't aggressive, and probably don't need moving on if you are comfortable with them there. They are fascinating to watch. The last conservatory I had put up had to be built round a small nest, leaving their entrance hole unblocked, and we shared the conservatory just fine for that year!

    So, I vote using same entrance area, but probably a new ... small ... nest!
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 10th May 18, 5:39 PM
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    peachyprice
    • #4
    • 10th May 18, 5:39 PM
    • #4
    • 10th May 18, 5:39 PM
    It could well be a mason bee (looks like it to me), it's the right time of the year for them and they will make a home in any available crevice. These are the bees that are most likely to make a home in bee habitats made from bamboo or wood. They're solitary creatures who lay their larvae in tubes then block them up until the following year. They don't stay around for long, just a couple of weeks. Definitely not bumbles though.

    It's highly unlikely you'll never get a swarm of mason bees, when you say 'loads' how many? I have around 6-8 in my garden, they're very tame and will happily fly in an out of their homes with me standing there.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • zacepi
    • By zacepi 10th May 18, 9:05 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    zacepi
    • #5
    • 10th May 18, 9:05 PM
    • #5
    • 10th May 18, 9:05 PM
    Thanks for the replies

    On the hottest days of this week I have had to escort a bee from the window about 10 times...but it could have been the same bee 10 times I suppose! Actually there were 2 in a room at the same time.

    They seem docile and dopey....not very lively and able to get to the open window at the top without help.

    Interesting they may be masons - will check for those secret handshakes.
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 10th May 18, 9:14 PM
    • 19,740 Posts
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    peachyprice
    • #6
    • 10th May 18, 9:14 PM
    • #6
    • 10th May 18, 9:14 PM
    I had to rescue a bumble last week, it kept walking, yes walking, up the hallway to the kitchen. Three times I picked the little monkey up to put him back in the garden!
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 10th May 18, 9:22 PM
    • 29,809 Posts
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    Mojisola
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 9:22 PM
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 9:22 PM
    There's some good ident charts on the web like this one -
    https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bee-count/great-british-bee-count-bee-identification-guide
    • zacepi
    • By zacepi 12th May 18, 9:52 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    zacepi
    • #8
    • 12th May 18, 9:52 PM
    • #8
    • 12th May 18, 9:52 PM
    There's some good ident charts on the web like this one -
    https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bee-count/great-british-bee-count-bee-identification-guide
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    That's useful - could be a red mason. Think I will take a better picture if they come back when it gets warmer.
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