Honeybees In Wall

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RelicTech 

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Hi,

I seem to have acquired a honeybee nest in a high up wall cavity, I am concerned because they've been finding their way from here both into the house and loft, today is the first time I've actually noticed them, swarming a bit outside and flying into rooms fairly aggressively.

There seems to be one hole they are using on the wall, too high for me to reach, but there was lots of activity around it during the day.

My question is, can/should I safely leave this or could it turn into a seriously established nest in the cavity causing property damage? I'm fairly sure they are honey bees having googled photos all day rather than masonry bees but I can post a pic if that might help? As I said it's too high for me to reach, about the only thing I could do is try and find a high enough ladder and repoint the access hole?

Thanks for any advice or reassurance, I am happy to leave them but they seemed very aggressive today inside the house and I do have a concern on property damage?
 

Newbeeneil 

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They are unlikely to cause damage but are likely to set up permanent residence.
Firstly I would block up any possible access into the internal rooms and loft with silicon mastic for small holes or glass fibre insulation for the top of the cavity. Once that's done you can either leave them to their on devices or get someone to trap them out. Filling the hole in the wall will just force them to look for other exits.
 

RelicTech 

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They are unlikely to cause damage but are likely to set up permanent residence.
Firstly I would block up any possible access into the internal rooms and loft with silicon mastic for small holes or glass fibre insulation for the top of the cavity. Once that's done you can either leave them to their on devices or get someone to trap them out. Filling the hole in the wall will just force them to look for other exits.
Thank you, I'm not sure I would have much luck plugging internal holes in the loft just due to poor accessibility. When you say permanent home, does that mean survive the winter?
 

Boston Bees 

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Hi,

I seem to have acquired a honeybee nest in a high up wall cavity, I am concerned because they've been finding their way from here both into the house and loft, today is the first time I've actually noticed them, swarming a bit outside and flying into rooms fairly aggressively.

There seems to be one hole they are using on the wall, too high for me to reach, but there was lots of activity around it during the day.

My question is, can/should I safely leave this or could it turn into a seriously established nest in the cavity causing property damage? I'm fairly sure they are honey bees having googled photos all day rather than masonry bees but I can post a pic if that might help? As I said it's too high for me to reach, about the only thing I could do is try and find a high enough ladder and repoint the access hole?

Thanks for any advice or reassurance, I am happy to leave them but they seemed very aggressive today inside the house and I do have a concern on property damage?
First things first, let's establish that they are definitely honey bees as the advice is completely different if they aren't. Could you post either a picture or a video of them coming and going? Or a pic of a dead one?
 

enrico 

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Thanks so much for the help, here is a pic, PXL-20210517-102422368
Yes they are honey bees. They can survive the winter. They might not but it depends on many things. There are ways to get them out but it can run expensive. There are ways to get the majority out and prevent them returning but that may leave wax and honey in the cavity which will attract more bees or insects. It is worth getting a professional to do a proper job. What area do you live in?
 

RelicTech 

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Yes they are honey bees. They can survive the winter. They might not but it depends on many things. There are ways to get them out but it can run expensive. There are ways to get the majority out and prevent them returning but that may leave wax and honey in the cavity which will attract more bees or insects. It is worth getting a professional to do a proper job. What area do you live in?
:( :( Doesn't sounds too good, given the height it would probably need scaffolding as well. This is near Worcester, is there any companies you would recommend?
 

Erichalfbee 

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:( :( Doesn't sounds too good, given the height it would probably need scaffolding as well. This is near Worcester, is there any companies you would recommend?
Try these on Facebook. You have to join first
 

viridens 

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RelicTech

You say you are happy to leave them but you are concerned about their aggression. I have known many householders co-existing with a bee colony like yours without any trouble., and your easiest option is to do nothing at all.
Honeybees are not normally aggressive unless defending their nest or themselves, but they will likely become agitated if they find themselves trapped inside the house, and will ping into the windows trying to escape. They will be attracted to the light when you open a loft hatch or turn on a loft lamp., and may come in through an open window to explore. Other than that, are they finding another way into the house?
 

Antipodes 

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Right at the moment they may not be any more than a bunch of scout bees. Scout bees can be so numerous that they look like a nest of bees...coming and going. One way to establish if it is a nest is to look for pollen on their back legs. If you or a beek can safely block the holes at the moment, they can be deterred that way....but check on the pollen...
 

RelicTech 

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Thanks, can't say I've seen any pollen yet but will check next time. I think they might be getting into and out of the wall and loft via an old pipe hole that goes all the way through.

So would you have no concerns with them co existing in a wall cavity over a number of years? Seems to be mixed views on if they can damage structures or not over time.
 

Antipodes 

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Thanks, can't say I've seen any pollen yet but will check next time. I think they might be getting into and out of the wall and loft via an old pipe hole that goes all the way through.

So would you have no concerns with them co existing in a wall cavity over a number of years? Seems to be mixed views on if they can damage structures or not over time.
I'd suggest you block up the pipe hole with some gaffer tape (quick job) asap - provided you see no pollen and you've only noticed them for the first time today. Block with the tape any other nearby holes, so long as you can do all this safely. Best done with gloves and bee suit etc etc. Probably scouts and no nest yet. Block any holes inside too where they are coming though the walls or lights. Stay safe with it mind.
 

Gilberdyke John 

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They are unlikely to cause damage but are likely to set up permanent residence.
Firstly I would block up any possible access into the internal rooms and loft with silicon mastic for small holes or glass fibre insulation for the top of the cavity. Once that's done you can either leave them to their on devices or get someone to trap them out. Filling the hole in the wall will just force them to look for other exits.
I disagree about the damage implications! Over time there's a risk of honey leakage into the fabric of the structure plus various infestations. I certainly wouldn't counsel leaving them to their own devices. My advice to the original poster is get his/her insurance company involved ASAP and leave it to the professionals since not many beekeepers have the building skills to open up, remove the colony and make good the structure especially at height. Plus in their wisdom the bbka indemnity insurance is limited to simple swarm gathering from low level. There's a very slim possibility of finding a builder who is also a beekeeper but it's going to cost unless the insurance company are paying.
 

Ian123 

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Hi if your finding dead bees on the ground then chances are they are more than scouts and you have a colony in residence. Also look to see if there’s constant activity. In a traditional twin/cavity wall they are not going to cause any structural damage nor are any pests that follow up a dead colony. I’ve never even seen any in a house leave any staining, and the cost of a coat of stain block and subsequent paint is minimal. The biggest issue is sealing up any access to loft or the house, particularly in the dark they will be drawn to a light source. Going into the loft and turning a light on can be interesting. There’s a very good chance they will perish over winter, the best bet would be to close any access very early spring. Ian
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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in their wisdom the bbka indemnity insurance is limited to simple swarm gathering from low level.
At last - you've identified something they quite rightly and wisely did. Especially with the risk of 'simple swarm gathering' being taken on by simple swarm gatherers.
 

viridens 

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I'm not sure what damage 'honey leakage' would do to a normal UK brick/block cavity wall. Removing the colony and 'making good' is arguably worse. Likewise, I have seen old loft nests that have caused no problems and others that have been removed leaving the owners with a leaking roof.
My advice is if they are scouts, block the hole, and if they are established do nothing and live with them.

RelicTech. In case you don't understand the significance of bees carrying pollen going in, this means that they have established a colony and are raising young bees. Observe the entrance for a few minutes when they are active, say at 11AM Use binoculars if possible. You would see a steady stream of bees going to and fro. Some of those going in will have full pollen sacs on their legs.
If you have a small number of bees without pollen maybe hovering to 'have a look' and crawling in and out, then these may be scout bees looking for a suitable home for a new colony.
 

rampino 

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Hi RelicTech, for filling holes, even quite large ones, try expanding builders’ foam. It comes in a sort of aerosol can.
A quick and permanent fix.
 

Newbeeneil 

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Hi RelicTech, for filling holes, even quite large ones, try expanding builders’ foam. It comes in a sort of aerosol can.
A quick and permanent fix.
Expanding foam is not permanent. Bees chew through it. The don't chew silicon mastic.
 

viridens 

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Expanding foam is not permanent. Bees chew through it. The don't chew silicon mastic.
They don't bother to chew it unless they have a good reason, like when the entrance to a active colony is sealed up.
 

Markthebuilder 

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Hi. Ok im a builder. And an amature bee landlord Ie my 2 hives have survived 3 years and did sucsesfully manager to harvest some honey Last year

Bees / nest will not harm a building per say
There is a possibility of honey combs becoming so large that a colaps through their own weight could then affect a ceiling say and cause some honey leakage through any ctacks or theoreticaly the potential weight of colapsed comb could bring a ceilig down . But ceiling are general held up by much Bigger fixings than we use to hold Framnes together.and volds other thank the løft are general shalower than a brood bpx
There is the possibility that if comb filled a section of cavity then moistiure could penitrate the outer wall travel accross the top of the comb and cause damp to apper on an inner wall.

If Bees are finding their way into the living area then for most this will be the biggest / only isshue and the only good reason to try Remove/ destroy the hive.
Assuming the means of access into the liveing spares can't be bløcked.

There is the possibility that the presence of honey will atract mice. Or other wildlife but again unless they are entering the liveing spacre they are mostly an unnoticed visitor .

Solution

I belive that if the hive entrance can be blocked . Then the traped bees will continue to live in the nest until they have exhausted their food reasourseses they will then die. This happens naturaly in winter to many hives.
There wont be any residual honey only inert comb.
Potentialy Bees will find another entrance but ås thes are identified they can also be blocked up.
Hopfully Bees will find a furter ...unsutible entrance exit to the hive and abscond.

Ås has been Said by others braking into a structure and making good after is skilled work if not done properly it will Potentialy cause gråter problems damp water penitration or just look a mess.
 

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