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City Bees

01752 516619

Bumble Bees

There are around 26 different types of Bumble Bees  in Britain. Queens emerge in early spring and are much larger than a honey bee 15 - 24mm and hairy  with black and yellow / white bands or with a black body and a red / orange tail. They are a social insect with a lazy buzz and bumbling flight each colony number around 100 at its peak, workers are much smaller emerging some 3 - 4 weeks later.


Each colony has a queen and  between 80 -200 worker bees which are smaller but still hairy, all can sting but are very reluctant to do so as they are not normally agressive if left alone. The arrival of the tree bumble bee a few years ago, it is more defensive and loves old bluetit nesting boxes. We can remove these for you and relocate them to a safe site, where they can live their lives out.

We do  make charge for this, from £40 - £75 depending on box type.


Living in a variety of places from old bird boxes or a nest underground accessed through a small hole, or in leaf litter, a hollow log or under a garden shed, perhaps a cavity in a wall or in an old stone wall. They will excavate soil to make a  space to make a nest from dry grass. moss leaves.


In the spring a large queen bee will emerge from her winter den and look for a suitable hole to make her nest, she will then lay a few dozen eggs which will become her workers. They will forage flowers for pollen and nectar to feed the next batch of eggs.


As mentioned above, bumblebees are not normally aggressive, and seldom sting, and are mostly easy to live with. We ask you to try and love your bees and live in harmony with them,  If you have small children or an inquisitive dog / cat, place some canes and large mesh plastic netting around the nest entrance to prevent conflict.

          Tree Bumble Bee (Bombus Hypnorum)





































The Tree Bumble is fairly new to the Uk and a success story but it can be quite defensive of its nesting area, we recommend staying away from their nest site, often in old bird boxes and also under the eaves of roofs, where Drones hang around circling in front of the entrance all day. We can remove the nest box but if in a roof they will all die out by autumn and normally not a problem as they are high up.


Underground nests can't be moved, you will cause disruption as you dig out the nest destroying it in the process, if it is outside and underground then there should be no reason to move it.


Move a nest  late in the evening when it's going dark and the bees are not flying. They  will probably buzz a bit, but they don't normally fly in the dark.


However best to take precautions  if  in a bird box  wait until almost dark, cover the nest hole with a piece of card and gaffer tape or put a piece of foam rubber in the hole.


The ideal container for the bees would be to find a shoe box or a wodden box, or something similar - perhaps larger for a particularly big nest.


To stop the nest rolling around place some dry grass or  moss in the bottom of the box, put an inch hole in the  side of the box  and block it with a tissue or foam rubber.


Pick up the nest, wear a long-sleeved shirt and gardening gloves, place it gently in the box keeping it upright if possible, put the lid on the box.


You will need to move the box over 2 miles away to prevent bees from returning to the origonal site.


It should be  a sheltered location ie woodland out of direct sunlight and the box needs a weatherproof lid or covering putting over it, an old slate is ideal.


Give the bess a little while to settle down and then remove the bung.


The bees might take a little while to adjust, but they should  get used to their new home in a few hours.


Red Tailed Bumble Bee Nest Bombus Terrestris Queen 2 Bombus Terrestris Queen Bombus Pascuorum b/bee conservation

Nest Relocation Service from £45

Tree Bumble Bee Bombus Pratorum

Images are copyright of City Bees

Images are copyright of City Bees

Images are copyright of City Bees

Images are copyright of City Bees

IMG_1453 Bombus hypnorum bird box