Honey bee

There are over 250 kinds of bees in Britain. The honey bee and bumble bee live in colonies and belong to a group known as social bees.

The majority of other species do not live in colonies and are solitary bees, such as mining and masonry bees.

Honey bees are easily distinguished from wasps, being finely banded in orange and brown, with brown and furry strong hind legs, compared with the yellow shiny and slender legs of wasps.

Bumble bees are larger and hairier bees, frequently with the top of the abdomen coloured brightly in ochre yellow or a rich tawny brown.

Do you treat bees?

Bath and North East Somerset Council Pest Control Service do not treat bees only wasps. If you think that you may have a bee swarm or a nest, please follow the link to The British Beekeepers Association

This site provides lots of useful information to help identify the type of bee or wasp you have, and contact details of local beekeepers who may be able to collect honey bees.

What should I do if I see a swarm?

If the bee swarm is flying, then nothing can be done except to leave them alone as they will move on. Only when a swarm is settled can a beekeeper be contacted to remove them. To find details of local beekeepers, please follow the link to The British Beekeepers Association

What should I do if I get stung?

Bees can sting and this can be serious for the small proportion of the population who are allergic to them. You should always check anyone who has been stung by a bee for an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:
headache, fever, loss of consciousness, swelling of the face, tongue lips and body, rashes and possible breathing difficulties.
When you have been stung by a bee, it leaves a stinger in your skin, which looks like a small splinter. It is important to try to remove the stinger as soon as possible as it continues to release venom for up to 20 minutes after the initial sting.
The best way to avoid a bee sting is to stand still and even let it land on you. In most cases it will simply fly away.

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