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Bees under the floor

 
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michaelpaul
New Bee


Joined: 18 May 2016
Posts: 1
Location: UK Lancashire Barnoldswick

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 11:25 am    Post subject: Bees under the floor Reply with quote

I am told by a pest control officer that we have honey bees under the study floor. They are flying in and out through an air vent in the wall and there is not enough room between the suspended floor and the ground to reach any hive.. Are they OK? Is there anything I should do? Can they become a problem?
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome and congratulations on becoming an inadvertent beekeeper!

I'm wracking my brains and I can't think of any reason why they would be a problem to you other than a little background hum and maybe a warm patch on the floor, both of which sound quite pleasant to me.... but then I'm a beekeeper by choice.
If they survive, they will most likely throw a few swarms each year, so it may be worth having a few contact telephone numbers for local beekeepers to ring at this time of year (swarming season) to collect them or perhaps place bait hives to attract them into. The parent colony will remain under your floor though until it dies.

The other option is to find a beekeeper who is prepared to do a "cut out" or a "trap out". Unfortunately not many beekeepers are interested or have the knowledge to do this and in the case of a cut out it would involve peeling back your floor covering and cutting out floor boards to remove the bees and comb and the room would have to be sealed to prevent the bees accessing the rest of the house whilst it was being effected..... several hours probably.
With a trap out, the bees are prevented from re-entering the vent and collected in a bait hive but nest they have built under the floor remains and will almost certainly attract another swarm in future years unless bee access can be prevented.

Personally I would be quite happy to leave them where they are and benefit from the pollination services they provide. If people have to pass near the vent they use for access and you are concerned someone will get stung (unlikely but I accept people do fear these things), you could perhaps screen them to make them fly in the opposite direction.

Whatever you decide, good luck with them.

Regards

Barbara
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would echo what Barbara has said. They won't cause any problem in the room, the only possible problem depends on whether anyone is going past the air vent they use regularly. One possibility would be to make some sort of box/drainpipe combination to make them leave above had height.

Dave
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would need to be careful with that as it may run water in and mean that the bees got drowned as they were trying to leave or fill up with snow or debris, although I would imagine there is plenty of air under the floor that they wouldn't suffocate, but it could possibly clog up unless capped off at the top.

Some of us actually dream/plan of having a hive in the house, so we could even go so far as to be jealous of your situation! I might take to sleeping on the floor in the study if they were in my house! Their hum can be very therapeutic.
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