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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Removing bee and wasp nests

​​​Who can help me remove 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'.

CAB website

Wasp nests

  • 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
    • outbuildings
  • 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

How can I tell if I have a wasp nest?

Look in your:

  • attic
  • shed
  • garage
  • 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.

Bees

How can I tell if I have a bee nest?

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

A honey bee nest will have thousands of bees and they will swarm around the entrance of the nest, which is common in chimneys although they will use any cavity. You may come into contact with a swarm. This is when part of a hive splits and a queen, accompanied by drones and several thousand workers, will look for a new nest site. While scout bees are looking for a suitable site the swarm may hang for a few days in a tree or bush.

Bumble bees

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.

I​f you have any type of bee nest you should ​contact you local pest controller or bee keeping group.

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