Bees Nest In The Attic - What Should I Do?
I received the following query regarding a bumblebee nest in the attic. Of concern was the fact that the gentleman needed to have some plumbing work done soon.
Here is my response:
"I have bumblebees nesting in my attic. At present they
are not causing a problem. In 4 weeks time I am having some plumbing
work done close to where they are entering. I am happy to leave them but
must have the work done. Will they still be there in 4 weeks? If so
what should I do?"
"Thank you so
much for getting in touch – I appreciate that you obviously care, and do not
want to harm the bees.
are rather docile – they are really not out to sting anyone. They are surprisingly persistent too, meaning
that if there is activity nearby, they will more than likely carry on
Indeed, even when a nest is
damaged, they will usually do their best to save the colony and rear the young. (If your concern is for the tradesmen I’ll
get on to that in a moment).
If the plumbing is ‘near’ to the nest, rather
than likely to damage it, you can safely leave the nest in place. Perhaps place objects around the nest to
ensure the workmen do not step on it, and of course, do warn them about the
to how long the nest will be in place, I cannot say exactly. They may be gone in 4 weeks, or may need
another 4. However, if your concern is
for the work people, my thoughts are as follows:
you could put something in place, which allows ‘in and out’ access for the
bees, whilst covering the nest. Either
that, or create a temporary ‘barrier’ to encourage the bees to fly in the
direction of the outside, and away from the plumbing work. This could be something simple, such as a few
empty cardboard boxes piled up between the plumbing and the bee nest.
have yet to meet a tradesman who does not come across these scenarios on a
regular basis, and just gets on with it.
As long as you let them know in advance, and that you want the bees to
be left alone, I’d be surprised if you hear any objections. Anyone who has a serious allergy to bee
stings (quite rare) usually knows about it, and carries an Epi-pen.
the worst that could happen is that somebody could be stung – but probably they
will not be, and being stung, tripping, cutting a finger – all part of the risk
of an average tradesman, I would have thought.
If you can leave the nest, it will help bees. Bumblebees are having a very hard term – almost a quarter (24%)
facing extinction in Europe – some species in the UK have gone extinct
already. Anything you can do to help is
appreciated. As long as the bees are not
physically in the way of the plumbing directly, I see no reason why the work
Did You Know?
Not all bees can sting! Many bees (probably most) are fairly docile and harmless!
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