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by Emma Thompson on April 25, 2023


Firstly, let me explain why we directed you to this blog.  At Bee Haven we not only look after our honeybee family but we also manufacture all of our own skincare and run a shop, we are a very small family team.  Our amazing social media presence has meant that during 'bee season' (spring to autumn) we get inundated with telephone calls of worried/interested people who need advice. Advice that can take 20-30 minutes to get through, so unfortunately, we can no longer facilitate this verbally.  We have detailed everything here so you can read and action according to your circumstance.

The most common bees we get questions about are bumblebees, honeybees and wasps.  If you have found bees at home and are worried about their longevity in your house first you need to identify the bee, in the old days we used to get an encyclopaedia and look it up.. these days people usually prefer me to tell them... however I think we should all have a go at educating ourselves and our children, so if you do not know try googling 'common bee species in the UK'

this link should help:

Once you know whether you have a bumblebee species or if you have identified honeybees (which look like wasps only less yellow, more amber) then you should google the lifecycle of that bee.

For instance bumblebees usually only live from spring to the end of summer - they are very mild mannered and shouldn’t be an issue, they are there for a good time not a long time.  So my advice is leave them bee. Educate your children on how important they are.  Obviously if you have anyone at home allergic to stings then you will need to look into removal, we are not able to advise on pest control. The link below is about the life-cycle of a bumblebee:

Wasps have much the same lifecycle as bumblebees, they do survive into the colder parts of the autumn however.  Wasps are incredibly important and very misunderstood, they are incredible pollinators and are natures natural pest-control, without wasps we would be in-trouble so please be kind to them.  After the end of July their colony collapses and this leaves the worker wasps bored and hungry which is why they become nuisances later in the summer.  Wasps nests look like an onion and are very fragile, after the nest empties, towards wintertime you can remove the structure safely. Obviously if you have anyone at home allergic to stings then you will need to look into removal, we are not able to advise on pest controlThe link below details the lifecycle of a wasp:

What does a wasp nest look like:

Honeybees often get mistook for wasps, here is how you can tell the difference:

Honeybees may look like wasps but their lifecycle is much more permanent.  So if you have a honeybee colony living in your home then you will need to consult a beekeeper to remove it.  You can find your local beekeeper by contacting your local beekeeping association - google or Facebook will help you here.  Please note YES we are beekeepers but we do not remove colonies higher than ground level, or colonies that are located within walls or chimneys.  We also only service the local area of Ballygowan

Honeybees love a chimney-breast! Unfortunately there is no magic way of getting bees from inside chimney-breasts (to my knowledge) without either damaging your brickwork or damaging the bees, this is not our area of expertise, and we cannot advise on pest control.  If you are not using the chimney then block it up from inside and leave them bee.  Feral bee colonies find it hard to survive without beekeeper intervention, you may find that the bees in your chimney don't live to long.


Don't mistake your feral colony for a swarm, only honeybees swarm by the way...and a swarm will look like a rugby ball of bees dangling from a random object... a sight to behold, don't panic, your local beekeeper will be only to glad to remove them, we call these free-bees!

Here is what a swarm looks like:

During May and June honeybees like to swarm, its 'swarming season'. The swarm will usually have came from your local beekeepers hive, locate them and advise.  They will gladly take them back - bees = honey!  The swarm is also not there forever, they are just chilling out in their chosen hanging-place while the scout-bees look for a new home for the colony (hopefully not a chimney-breast lol).  Quite often they choose to return to the colony from where they came and completely trick everyone.. and try again another day. 

Please note unless you live in Ballygowan I am not your local beekeeper.

To locate your local beekeeper here are some tips

Head over to you local community Facebook page and ask

Use the Nextdoor app for your locality and ask

Jump onto the Ulster Beekeeping Associations website and pop them a message

If you live in GB head to the British Beekeeping Assoc for more info

Lots of bees in your shrubbery? If you look at your ivy bush (for example) or another large shrub in your garden and it appears to be 'bouncing with bees', this doesn’t necessarily mean you have a bee nest/colony, it probably just means your shrub is in nectar-flow and the bees (bumbles, solitary and honeybees) are having a field-day pollinating it.

Solitary Bees - to identify your solitary bee look here:

Solitary bees are gentle, and their life-cycle is short, there are also many types.

Solitary bees are found living in your brickwork, for example - they are doing no harm and will not cause structural damage - leave them bee.  I know of people who have filled the hole up and closed the bee in ...and this just saddens me beyond belief, bees are very intelligent and I think this is unnecessary.

I hope this information has helped and if nothing else you have learned something new!

Thank you

Bee Haven