You should be aware that removing bees from a building structure is especially difficult and may not be successful. If the bees are honey bees they should be removed because the nest site is permanent and can become very large. For other bee species and wasps this may not be necessary because the nest is small and they occupy the site for one season and then die.
To provide advice we need to determine if the bees are honey bees:
- The BBKA.org.uk website gives advice on identifying bees under their swarm page. However, if the bees cannot be seen close-up, it may not be possible to identify them visually.
- If the bees arrived recently and they were seen to arrive did they appear as a swarm with thousands of bees? If so , they probably are honey bees.
- Can you see bees entering and leaving? Roughly, on a warm and sunny afternoon, how many are leaving and entering each minute, e.g. 1 per minute, 10 per minute (easily counted), 100 per minute (too many to count)? High numbers suggest honey bees; low numbers, other bee species.
If you are sure the bees are honey bees they should be removed. Most swarm collectors associated with OBKA or other beekepeing organisations are not able to work at height or dismantle building structures due to insurance restrictions. We therfore recommend you contact a specialist pest controller. Our beekeepers may be able to assist, for example by offering to rehouse a recovered colony. Please discuss this with the pest controller.
If you are sure the bees are not honey bees, we suggest leaving them alone. The colony will die in autumn. Before doing this they make several queens that hibernate over winter and start a new colony in the spring in a new location.