Live honey bee removal specialists

Swarmcatcher – The honey bee nest removal specialists

We are a family business that specialises in honey bee nest removal, we carry out the live removal and relocation of honey bee nests from places they shouldn’t be, re-homing them to allow the bees to carry their genetics forward on provision that they are a healthy disease (reportable) free honey bees nest.

Beekeeping has been a family pastime for generations.
We just love it, we live and breathe honey bees: it’s in the blood.

We have over the last 10 years developed and enhanced techniques for honey bee nest removal, removing honeybees safely, during which time we have also increasing our rate of successful honey bee relocation’s to nigh on 100% despite dealing with more difficult situations year on year continually pushing yhe envelope of what can be done.

Swarmcatcher specialises in live honey bee nest removals and the relocation of these nests from homes and businesses across the UK, we carry out this service without the need for insecticides and harmful poisons.

Give us a call for free advice from a member of our experienced team.

Tel. 02922 401649

Other common bee nests

Here at Swarmcatcher we also carry out other types of bees nest removals, a lot of which are Tree Bumblebee nests. These Tree Bumblebees are a new species to the UK (since 2001), again we carry out these bee nest removals live and relocate the bees to a garden or field so that they can continue their valuable contribution to nature. We would always carry out a live bee nest removal where possible for these bees, but where its not possible, for example if the bee nest is in a cavity wall and the only access point is an old overflow pipe hole. Then, if there is a risk to health, we will poison these bees, and recommend that the hole be filled as soon as possible after the nest has died. 

 

Experience is Important

If you are having problems with honey bees entering your building, or you have had a pest controller or local bee keeper identify honey bees as having taken up residence in your chimney, roof or wall and you need assistance in the honey bee nest removal then call us, there are not many that specialise in this work with the level of experience that we have, or the depth of knowledge that we have gained over the years. 

“Homes for people, Hives for honey bees”

Swarmcatcher can carry out a honey bee nest removal and relocate the honey bees allowing you to relax in the knowledge that you have both saved the bees as well having a bee free home again.

Often beekeepers and pest controllers do not have the necessary experience, training or equipment to deal with honeybees which have made a home in chimneys, walls or roofs.

At Swarmcatcher where we can, we work closely with local beekeepers and pest controllers saving bees from unnecessary extermination. Call for free friendly advice from an experienced swarmcatcher or take a look around our website for some examples of our work.

Swarm Collection

We are specialists in live honey bee removal from places beekeepers and ordinary pest controllers can’t, but we can also collect local honey bee swarms for businesses that require properly insured professionals on site.

 

A typical swarmcatcher survey

Our initial site visit will confirm that it is honey bees that have colonised the property and that it is our honey bee nest removal and relocation service is what is required. We will then do our best to establish the exact location and extent of the honey bee colony which then allows us to discuss with you the various options available for the removal of the honey bees outlining all the advantages and disadvantages of each method. We discuss the levels of proofing needed to prevent recolonisation of the area, what is required in the way of bee removal and cleanup, the possible use of insecticide after a cutout, how we might take advantage of robbing bees from other colonies to assist in the clean up, and the proofing required to prevent access and recolonisation by any new bee swarms.

We use a variety of methods to remove honey bees from wall cavities, chimneys, flat roofs, soffits, gables, behind wall tiles, beneath roof tiles and from anywhere else you might find them.

Honey bees in a wall cavity

There are two main options for honey bee nest removal when dealing with honey bees that have colonised a wall cavity.
The least intrusive is to carry out a trapout, the result of which is the removal of the bees and the honey, main disadvantage of using this method is that it takes 6 weeks or more and generally needs to be carried out during the late spring and summer months although there are various options on how this is done dependent upon the circumstances and the desired outcome.
The second method commonly referred to as a cutout involves the removal of sufficient bricks, boarding or plasterboard to access the colony to enable the complete removal of the comb, the honey and the bees. This maybe carried out from within the property or from the outside of the property dependent upon circumstances and accessibility. This method offers a fairly immediate solution for the removal of the bees.

Honey bee removal from chimneys

When honey bees occupy a chimney space it becomes necessary to carry out a honey bee nest removal, this can take the form of one of two standard scenarios or on occasion a combination of the two.
Often bees will find there way between a gas flue or solid fuel burner flue and the original chimney, more often than not it’s the space between a gas flue and the original chimney. In situations such as this we need to utilise a gas engineer to decommission and remove the gas fire so that we may then carry out our work and for the fire to then be recommissioned. For a successful honey bee nest removal in these circumstances, its often necessary to temove the flue liner.

The second scenario is where honey bees have colonised a chimney space that has been capped, be it with a chimney cap (that are rarely designed to keep wasps and bees from setting up home) or as a stone or concrete slab over the chimney as part of the flaunching. In these circumstances we are able to remove the comb, honey and wax. We have not yet needed to dismantle a chimney to do this (not saying we haven’t felt like using a stick of dynamite on the odd occasion).

The most common reason for honey bees being able to access these locations is due to the poor condition of the flaunching as a result of the weathering over the years. Where we need to remove this to allow access we reinstate at the end of the job.

Honey bee removal from a flat roof

This can be carried out in one of two ways dependent upon the circumstances. Often we are able to carry out a trapout which removes the honey bees and the honey but not the wax comb. Alternatively we can carry out what is generally described as a a cutout, from either within the property or from the outside of the property. Dependent upon the size and type of roof this can sometimes be done without having to damage either the ceiling or the roof. But generally one or the other needs to be damaged to allow access to the honey bee colony.

Honey bee removal from soffits

Removal of honey bees from soffits is generally carried out by removing the soffit to allow full access to the bees and the colony. It’s usually a fairly straightforward task to carry out a honey bee nest removal and reinstate the soffit after the removal of the bees.

Honey bee removal from roofs

Generally speaking honey bees don’t colonise roof spaces, where they are flying in beneath tiles they more often than not are colonising a cavity wall or an old dismantled chimney stack that is hidden beneath the tiles. The easiest way to access these bee colonies is to remove the roof slates or tiles to enable the honey bee nest removal including the queen, her bees, the wax and the honey, before reinstating the slates or tiles. We are unable to offer a guarantee that additional swarms in the future won’t recolonise these areas because the scent that emanates from the comb and propolis lasts for years and is highly attractive to bees. What we can do is fill this particular void area to make it difficult or uninteresting to bees. When this is done its very important to consider the effect this filling may have on air circulation, bridging between air spaces, consequent damp etc. The only way one could guarantee that some part of the roof area would not be recolonised in the future in these circumstances would be for the removal of the roof and the installation of insect mesh before reinstatement of the roof. However if barge boards, soffits and any other wall/roof junctures are kept in good condition with all holes filled the level of risk will be negligible. Ideally honey bees are looking for cavities with a volume of about 20 litres, which can be found ideally between roof rafters and nogins.

Considerations for the removal of honey bee colonies

We are well experienced in removing honey bee colonies from various and difficult locations, even one of our straightforward removals can be too much for most insured pest controllers and for uninsured experienced beekeepers.
By using Swarmcatcher.co.uk you are benefiting from the fact that we are both professional pest controllers and beekeepers.

Each and every honey bee removal job is different from any other

When assessing a job we need to look at access, how easily and safely the area to be worked on can be got to. If accessing a colony from outside we need to look at ground conditions, whether safe access is available whether ladders, mobile scaffolding, scaffolding or some form of mobile elevated working platform (cherry picker) should be used. If accessing from within a structure we need to know that we can confine the bees to the area we are working in, protect the area as best as possible from any damage. Luckily honey cleans up easily using cold water, unfortunately wax doesn’t, furthermore you would be amazed at how difficult it is to remove bee excrement.
Weather conditions are important, working at height with some nasty bees is not something to be done in wet or windy conditions. Nor should bees be worked on in thundery clammy conditions unless they are located at a great distance (several 100 metres) from areas accessible by people.
Each colony reacts in a different way, some are calm and unperturbed by our interference, others can be very aggressive and nasty, this is all down to the queen, when rehoming these colonies we will look to change the queen to calm the nature of the hive.
It is very difficult to assess the amount of time required to carry out the live removal of a honey bee colony, often a queen will find the most inaccessible location to hide in, and if we don’t get the queen then we will be coming back a second time.