Honey Bee on beekeepers glove Honey Bee on beekeepers glove Phil Swift

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Q: The two most commonly asked questions of any beekeeper must be "Do you get stung?" and "Does it hurt?"

A: The answers are yes to both.

Having said this, stings are not common and modern protective clothing minimises the number you are likely to get. With experience most beekeepers are able to read the signs of when to leave colonies alone such as during inclement weather.




Q: I have bees in my roof or in a bird box. What can I do?

A: These are most likely to be Tree Bumblebees

If they are in the eaves of a house or the bird box is high up on a wall or in a tree, there is no cause for alarm.

The bees you see flying around the entrance are all male bees and they cannot sting you as they do not have a sting.

These bees will only become defensive and sting if they are disturbed by strong vibrations to their home. E.G. drilling a hole with a power drill within a few feet of the nest.

If the bees are at low level e.g. head height or in a door frame then you may need to contact a pest controller as continually walking by the entrance will cause defensive behaviour in the bees and could result in stinging.


Beekeepers usually only collect swarms of Honey Bees but some may relocate bees in bird boxes.


For more information about Tree Bumblebees and how to identify them go to our Swarms Section.

If you still have concerns you can contact a local beekeeper via the

British Beekeepers website and scrolling down to STEP 2 and clicking on the ORANGE BOX

British Beekeepers Website