Are you being bothered by bees?

Date published: 5th June 2017

We’ve had a lot of calls recently from tenants who are concerned about bee infestations.

The spring and summer months are when flying insects such as honeybees, bumblebees and wasps are most active. They will be gathering food to feed newly-hatched eggs, but they should be no cause for alarm as they will not sting unless provoked. Many pest control services will not treat bees as they are considered beneficial insects – they play an important role in pollinating flowers and plants.

Honeybees are the only bees that will form a swarm. The British Beekeepers’ Association has advice on how to identify a swarm of honeybees – please click here.

If you think you have a swarm, this can be removed by a beekeeper. Click here to find your nearest Swarm Collector.

Bumblebees are often confused with honeybees. However, they are rounder, larger and furrier, and come with a variety of coloured stripes across the end of their tails. Leave the nests alone if possible – they will die out at the end of summer and will cause no further problems. Bumblebees rarely sting or attach people or animals and should therefore not be disturbed.

Solitary bees are small with a reddish-brown bottom. They pose no threat to you, your family or pets. Solitary bees are important pollinators and their nests should be left alone. Their numbers will decrease over the summer.

Wasps are bright yellow with black strips, have a high-pitched buzz, and are attracted to sweet things. Hornets are very large, black and brown, and have a loud buzz. For information on wasps and hornets, please visit

Pest control services may treat wasps and hornets – please contact your local authority for more information.