There are many types of bee, amongst which there are honey bees, bumble bees, masonry and minor or burrowing bees, all of which are the species that are most likely to be encountered. Most of these bees are harmless and, once their behaviour is understood, pose no threat to people.
Bumble bees come in various different varieties, all of which produce a nest in the spring from one over-wintered queen bee. These nests grow in size over the summer and finally produce young queens which in time will overwinter to start their own nests the following spring. They rarely cause problems and it is only if their entrance becomes blocked that a number of them will be seen.
They are relatively harmless and should be left where possible to complete their lifecycle. The nests are annual and only last for one summer. They will not reoccur the following year and they do not swarm.
Honey bees are classed as a domestic insect and occasionally go wild (feral). This normally occurs in the early summer months when colonies become overcrowded and they swarm. When swarming occurs, one queen will leave a colony taking with her many thousands of worker bees. These will then gather in a mass whilst scout bees go off to find them a new permanent home.
These swarms can be quite alarming in flight and are accompanied by a loud droning noise. In this state there is little that can be done until they settle. Once settled they can be collected and removed to be re-homed in somewhere more appropriate. Occasionally swarms will go into manmade structures i.e. cavity walls and eave areas. When this happens they cannot be collected and may have to be destroyed.
Clear Round Pest Services can carry out collecting of swarms and bee treatments.
Masonry and minor bees are normally only active in the early spring months and although they possess stings they are not normally strong enough to pierce human skin. They do not swarm and are to all intents and purposes, harmless.