Swarm Collection


Is there a swirling mass of bees descending on your house?

Has a swarm taken up residence in your favourite apple tree?

We can help !

 

Quickly identify what you have buzzing around from the pictures and descriptions below, and then click the appropriate "HELP" link to see what you should do next !

 
Honey Bees
   

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Click to enlarge

Honey Bees live in colonies of up to 80,000 individuals.

Appearance:
1-2cm long, colour varies from almost black to a light orange colour.
Honey bees have hairy bodies, and a striped abdomen.

Colony Appearance:
Wild honey bee nests consist of bare honey comb, made of wax, but the comb can often be completely obscured by the bees themselves.

HELP! I HAVE HONEY BEES!

     
Wasps    

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Click to enlarge

Wasps live in colonies of up to 15,000 individuals.
By winter, all wasps except the queen will have died. Only the queen hibernates to the following year.

Appearance:
2-3cm long, with a bright yellow and black striped abdomen.
Wasps are virtually hairless, and fly much faster than bees.

Colony Appearance:
Wasps naturally build their nests underground, or in shrubs - but lofts have proven to be a firm favourite too !
Their nests are made out of wood pulp, chewed into a paper-like substance.

HELP! I HAVE WASPS!

     
Bumble Bees    

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Click to enlarge

Bumble Bees live in colonies of only a few hundred individuals.
The queen is the only survivor of winter - and she starts a new colony in the spring.

Appearance:
2-3cm long, very stocky with yellow and black stripes across the whole body.
Bumble Bees are exceptionally furry!
They are also comparitively slow flying.

Colony Appearance:
Bumble bees tend to build their nests underground - preferring to use abandoned mouse nests.
All that is usually visible of a bumble bee nest is the small opening at ground level.

HELP! I HAVE BUMBLE BEES!

     
Hornets    

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Click to enlarge

Hornets live in colonies of less than 1000 individuals.
As with most of these insects, only queen hornets survive the winter.

Appearance:
4-5cm long, otherwise similar in appearance to wasps.

Colony Appearance:
Hornet nests look very similar to wasp nests, just somewhat larger.

HELP! I HAVE HORNETS!

     
Other    

There are around 250 species of bee in the UK.

The remaining types of bee, not mentioned above are the solitary bees.

As their name suggests, these bees live solitary lives, never constructing honeycomb, building a colony or swarming.

Some of the more commonly known solitary bees are the Leafcutter Bees (see photo of 'cut' leaf), Mining and Mason Bees.

HELP! I HAVE SOLITARY BEES!

     
Still flummoxed as to the invading insect? Try this page to help identify what is causing you problems !

Images used on this page are considered to be in the public domain unless otherwise specified below - if this is not correct, please Contact Us.
Wasp image -- Hornet nest image -- Hornet image -- Bumblebee image -- Mason bee image