Removal of a bee or wasp nest
The States of Jersey does not offer a pest control service. If you are having a problem with a wasp or bee nest contact your local pest controller.
To help you find a relevant service the Jersey Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) website offers some names and contact details under 'Pest Control'.
All worker wasps die out during the winter, the only wasps that survive are the queen wasps. Queen wasps hibernate during the winter inside the old nest or construct a small golf ball-sized hibernation cell.
During April and until early June, the queen wasp will leave the old nest or hibernation cell, and begin the construction of a brand new nest in a new location. The old nest and hibernation cells are never used again.
Nests are mostly made out of a mixture of chewed wood and wasp saliva. Queen wasps will often start to build their nests in:
- roof voids
- wall cavities
By the time September arrives the nest can be as large as a small armchair with up to 10,000 wasps using it.
During June and July you are unlikely to get wasp stings, as wasps are too busy chasing insects and bringing up the larval wasps. However as autumn arrives these activities stop and the wasps start to feed on fermenting, overripe fruit. These “drunken wasps” are now at their most dangerous and can become very aggressive, with a wasp sting more likely to happen.
To check for a wasp nest, look in your:
- other outbuildings
During June and July the nest will only be the size of a tennis ball or football. It will be straw coloured and have “swirl shapes” all over it. From August to October it may become much bigger and darker with more swirl patterns over it. If you can't see the nest then take a slow walk around your property looking for wasps going in and out of a single entrance hole every 2-4 seconds. This will indicate a nest 4-6 inches behind the hole.
If you do discover a wasp nest or a wasp nest entrance hole, we recommend that you contact a local pest controller.
Wasp nests can look very similar to Asian hornet nests. If you are concerned that you may have an Asian hornet nest, contact the Asian Hornet Coordinator.
If you have a bee nest you will probably see bees entering a hole in the ground or in a wall or roof. Where they nest often depends on species. It may not be necessary to destroy the nest. It may be possible in some cases to remove the nest, but this is rare. We suggest you contact a local pest controller who will be able to tell you what sort of bees they are.
The various types of bee are:
- bumble bees
- honey bees
- a wild species such as masonry or mining bees
- a sub species of wild bee from one of the groups above
Honey bees and honey bee swarms
A honey bee nest may have thousands of bees and they will often be seen in large numbers around the entrance of the nest. Wild colonies of honey bees are common in chimneys, although the will use any suitable cavity.
In April, May and June colonies may swarm. This is when the colony splits and a queen, accompanied by drones and several thousand worker bees, will look for a new nest site.
The sight of thousands of bees in the air can be alarming. Move away or indoors and close any windows. While scout bees are looking for a suitable nesting site, the swarm may settle in a tree or bush, and hang as a football sized cluster for up to a few days.
If you see large numbers of flying bees or a hanging swarm, contact the Jersey Beekeepers Association swarm coordinators. They will arrange for a local beekeeper to safely contain and remove the swarm.
Swarms in western parishes call 07797 732009.
Swarms in eastern parishes call 07797 715979.
These are the largest of the bees and usually nest in the ground or in places such as compost heaps. Generally they are not aggressive although they can sting. They may be aggressive around the nest entrance.
Mason or mining bees
If you have these types of bees you will see them entering many holes either in the ground or in mortar. There is no queen and all the females lay eggs.
If you are concerned about any type of bee nest you should contact you local pest controller or bee keeping group.