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Wood bees

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893579.  Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:50 am Reply with quote

Over the last fortnight small bees have appeared on the floor by the French windows in our kitchen. My internet searching seems to identify them as wood bees, although it seems to say they are large and ours are tiny - about 8mm long. We have no solid wood in our kitchen and the windows frames are upvc and there is no decking.
Have any of our resident insect experts any bright ideas for how I might track down their nest, please? Just to make sure they are not causing damage to the house.

Incidentally, I was sidetracked into looking up the word for a bee specialist. Am I right in thinking it is a apiologist and that a beekeeper is an apiarist?

893622.  Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:49 am Reply with quote

I'm not an insect expert by any stretch of the imagination, but it sounds like you have hover flies, they can look like tiny bees.

893682.  Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:34 am Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure they are not hover flies. They are short and fat and chunky. They look like baby bumble bees. I've only seen 3. I haven't seen them flying, they just sit on the floor.

Sadurian Mike
893715.  Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:19 pm Reply with quote

Jan had a colony in the back garden for a while.

They eventually just decided to leave after having their nest accidentally damaged by a spade.

893783.  Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:33 pm Reply with quote

If I could track down the nest, there is a chance it might get accidentally damaged by a spade.

893835.  Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:43 pm Reply with quote

you might find Drawwing software helpful with insect recognition. Once you know exactly what you are dealing with you might find locating the nest a bit easier.

If their behaviour is similar to honey bees you can track their route to a nest by beelining. Note that honey bees range is many miles and that a concentration of bees in a location does not indicate proximity, more that there is some resource of interest. Again maybe relevant only to honey bees, have you recently used bees' wax polish? Scout bees looking for a new nest site are attracted to the smell of wax.

893842.  Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:58 pm Reply with quote

That's a very cool website, aTao - thanks.

As for using bees' wax polish, although cleaning materials do make it over my threshold, unfortunately I rarely seem to actually open them!

893857.  Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:21 pm Reply with quote

If you have a wasp nest on your property, as we did once, the local authority will send a man to eradicate it for a small fee (usually in the region of 50). But bees are by now protected, and so the operatives who exterminate wasps no longer deal with bees.

The advice therefore is that bee nests should be left be unless they pose a safety concern (which they do if there are children in the house). A few local authorities have beekeepers on contract, but in most areas the advice is to ask the police to put you in touch with a suitable beekeeper.

893866.  Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:49 pm Reply with quote

I came home from work once to hundreds of bees in my small kitchen. On opening the front door I could hear an extremely loud buzzing and opening the kitchen door was quite scary! The police were very nice and gave me the number of a beekeeper. However, he said he couldn't do anything unless they were actually in a swarm, not just hundreds crawling and flying about my kitchen. The best he could suggest was that i go in and open the window and try to brush them out. Easy for him to say! I tucked my trousers in my socks and put a cagoul on with the hood pulled tight. They'd come in through an airbrick, apparently following the scent of a queen. I used about a whole can of Raid on the brick once they'd all gone. I didn't want a recurrence!


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