The Government of Jersey does not offer a pest control service. If you have problems with a bee or wasp nest contact a pest controller.
If you have a bee nest you’ll probably see bees entering a hole in:
Where bees nest often depends on the species.
You may not need to destroy the nest. In some cases you may be able to remove the nest but this is rare. You should contact a local pest controller who will be able to tell you what sort of bees they are and give you the appropriate advice.
The various types of bee are:
- bumble bees
- a wild species such as masonry or mining bees
If you’re concerned about any type of bee nest you should contact your local pest controller or bee keeping group.
Honeybees and honeybee swarms
Honeybees are important pollinators of our floral ecology. Their nests may have thousands of bees and they will often be seen in large numbers around the entrance. Wild colonies of honeybees are found in cavities such as hollow trees or chimneys.
In April, May, June and July colonies may swarm. This is when the colony splits and a queen, accompanied by 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 new nesting site, the swarm may settle in a tree, bush, or on another structure and hang as a football sized cluster of bees for up to a few days.
If you see large numbers of flying bees or a hanging swarm, call the Jersey Beekeepers Association swarm coordinators:
- for western parishes call +44 (0) 7797 774488
- for eastern parishes call +44 (0) 7797 725176
They may be able to arrange for a local beekeeper to attend the site, safely contain and remove the swarm to a new home. If you cannot make contact on one number, try the other one.
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’ll see them entering many holes either in the ground or in mortar. They are often called solitary bees as they do not form large nests, though many individuals may congregate at a suitable site. They are generally important pollinators. They cannot sting and are usually short-lived.
If you think you may have a wasp nest take a cautious walk around your property and look for wasps going in and out of a single entrance hole every 2 to 4 seconds. This will indicate a nest 4 to 6 inches behind the hole. Do not disturb any wasp nests as they may react aggressively.
If you discover a wasp nest or a wasp nest entrance hole, and you think it could be dangerous, contact a local pest controller for advice.
You should check for the presence of flying insects in any area you carry out outdoor work such as:
This may indicate that there is a wasp nest nearby.
All worker wasps die out during the winter and only queen wasps survive.
Queen wasps hibernate during the winter in any suitable dry cavity including:
- a corner of a shed
- under bark
- in a corner of a loft space
- in the folds of curtains
Coming out of hibernation and nesting
Queen wasps leave their hibernating site during April and May to find a suitable location to construct their nests. They will often start to build their nests in:
- roof voids
- loft spaces
- wall cavities
- ground cavities
- outbuildings such as garden sheds
The nest will only be the size of a tennis ball up to a football during June and July. It’ll 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. By September, nests the nest can be as large as dustbin with up to 10,000 wasps using it.
During June and July you’re unlikely to get wasp stings, as wasps are too busy chasing insects and bringing up the larval wasps. 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.
Asian hornet nests
Wasp nests can look very similar to Asian hornet nests. Asian hornet nests may react very aggressively if they are disturbed. If you’re concerned that you have seen an Asian hornet or have an Asian Hornet nest, email the Asian hornet coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find further information on Asian hornet sightings, identification and reporting.