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To assist you to understand which Bee you may have discovered, please see this useful Bee Indentifying Poster PDF (7 MB) from the British Beekeepers Association.

Honey bees

Honey bees are easily distinguished from wasps as they are finely banded in orange and brown, with brown and furry strong hind legs, compared with the yellow shiny and slender legs of wasps. Originally honey bees probably built their colonies in hollow trees but nowadays a wild swarm may establish itself in a cavity wall provided there is suitable access. They feed on nectar and are not normally considered a pest as they only sting when seriously provoked.

Bumble bees

Most people can recognise these large furry bees, considerably larger than the honey bee and frequently with the top of their abdomen coloured brightly in ochre yellow or a rich tawny brown. Nests are usually produced in holes in trees or by excavating in soft or sandy earth. They feed on nectar and are not normally considered a pest as they only sting when seriously provoked.

Both honey and bumble bees are rapidly declining in numbers. A mite is killing the honey bee and it is thought changing agricultural practices are killing the bumble bee. Both bees are good for the environment and it is our policy not to treat them.

Mining Bees

Found in gardens in soil early in the year, they live as an individual. Holes are around 15cm and contain their larvae. They are beneficial and are not able to sting.

Masonry Bees

Similar to mining bees, they live in small cracks/faults in brickwork. They can't damage or bore into modern mortar. They are solitary and will disappear before summer.


A beekeeper may be the best option to collect swarms. They will only collect bees from accessible places and may charge to cover their expenses.


You can see more information about bees and their removal at:

You can discuss any issues with us by emailing or phoning 01329 236100.

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