Honey Bee

There are just one species of honey bee in the UK, identified by its slim, sandy thorax and black abdomen with golden-amber bands. Honeybees have been domesticated for centuries and it is rare to find a truly wild colony. Our honeybees now mostly live in hives of up to 20,000 individuals and are commonly found feeding on open flowers they can easily reach with their short tongues. Keep your eyes peeled around willows, orchard trees, oil-seed rape, raspberry flowers and other trees, herbs, and shrubs.

Honey bees make honey from pollen and nectar collected from flowers. They live in large colonies with one queen, who can live to 3 years old, and many of her daughters as sterile females workers, and some male drones. In the wild honey bees nest in hollow trees.

When a new queen emerges, she embarks on a mating flight. On returning to her hive, with help from the workers, she kills the failing, old queen. Alternatively, before the new queen emerges, the old queen may leave with a swarm of workers to form a new colony.

How to tell if You have Honey Bee.

  • Honey bee’s all-brown colouring and no whitetail. They range from ginger to a pale, sandy brown, depending on how sun-bleached they are.
  • Common carder bees are very common and are found everywhere from arable land to urban gardens. Gorse is a favourite food plant alongside things like dandelions, dead-nettles, comfrey, selfheal and foxgloves.

Upon finding a honey bee nest, please Contact Us and leave everything as it is.

Please do not try and removing/killing them, We are professionals and work alongside professional beekeepers that will try our best in removing honeybees without the use of and insecticides

They are most visible in summer and late spring when new queens leave their old colonies along with thousands of workers to build new nests. At this time, large groups of bees can be seen swarming together to find a new nesting place. It takes a swarm approximately 24 hours to locate a new nesting site.

 

How to identify if its a bumble bee or honey bee.

 

BumblebeeHoneybee
  • Fat and furry appearance.
  • Smaller and slim appearance, like a wasp.
  • 24 different species of bumblebee in the UK.
  • Only one species of honeybee in Europe.
  • Different species have different lengths of tongue. This means they feed from different shaped flowers.
  • All honeybees have short tongues so they prefer open flowers.
  • Bumblebees live in nests with 50-400 bees.
  • Honeybees live in hives of up to 50,000 – 60,000 bees.
  • Only the queen hibernates, in a hole in the ground.
  • The queen and many of her daughters live in the hive all year
  • The queen lives for one year, but the other bumblebees only live for a few months.
  • The queen can live for three – four years.
  • They live in the wild, e.g. in gardens and the countryside.
  • Most honeybees are looked after by beekeepers, but there are some wild colonies.
  • Bumblebees only make small amounts of a honey-like substance to eat themselves.
  • Honeybees make lots of honey, which beekeepers can harvest to eat or sell.
  • Bumblebee populations are declining due to a shortage of flowers to feed from and places to nest in the countryside.
  • Honeybees are mainly declining due to diseases and mites, such as the Varroa mite.
  • They can sting more than once but only sting if aggravated.
  • Honeybees die after they have stung as their stinger is barbed and sticks in the skin.
  • Don’t dance but may communicate by passing pollen between worker bees.
  • Use a ‘waggle dance’ to communicate – passing on information about flower locations.

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