Find advice about how to deal with problems with bees and wasps in your home and garden.
Bees - if you have problems with bees, you can contact a local beekeeper listed below
Wasps - our pest control officer can visit to deal with wasps nests - find out more in this section
The Difference Between Bees and Wasps
Wasps are small with sharp tapered abdomens and are black and yellow striped. Honeybees are similar in size to wasps but are mainly black (sometimes with a tan banding).
Bumble bees are large and furry. They are black or brown with wide stripes of yellow or white. They have very small nests and are relatively harmless and normally do not sting unless their life is under threat.
Swarms of Bees
If you see a large mass of bees hanging in a tree, hedge or post about the size of a football and the bees are small and uniformly brown, this will be a swarm of bees. Only honeybees swarm. Bumble bees, solitary bees and wasps do not.
Swarms in Sussex normally occur from late April until mid July. Bees usually swarm between 11am and 4pm. They will swirl in the air and then settle on a fence, tree or bush temporarily, prior to finding a new home. The noise of a bee swarm can be alarming but the danger is not very great.
The council does not deal with bees as they are a protected species and are valuable to the environment.
However, you can contact a local beekeeper so that they can try to collect the swarm and move them to a new hive. They will visit either free of charge or for a small fee to cover expenses such as costs of petrol to travel to you.
Contact Local Beekeepers
Mr Miller - Telephone: 01323 846987; Mobile: 07929 194439
Mr Stidder - Telephone: 01323 721307; Mobile: 07792 959576
Mr Weller - Telephone: Evening 01323 847812; Mobile: 07789 543548
Mr Bowman Telephone: 01323 732276; Mobile: 07804 433389
Mr Pratt - Telephone: 01323 841249; Mobile: 07778 867136
Mr Hedger - Mobile: 07905 743272
Mrs Wells - Telephone: 01323 731360; Mobile: 07990620488
Depending on the location, it may not always be necessary to destroy a wasp nest. If they can be left undisturbed, wasps will often not become a pest and can be left alone.
Lures such as a jar filled with beer or jam can often be used to attract wasps away from those parts of the garden that you would normally use, and reduce the need to destroy the insects and their nest using insecticides.
At the end of the summer the nest will be abandoned and will not be reused. Any remaining wasps will die naturally.
But often wasps nests cause a nuisance during the summer months due to their location. The council offers a pest control service to remove wasps nests for a charge of £37.00. Go to our Pest Control Treatment Services page for details and how to book an appointment:
For further advice about wasps you can download our information leaflet:
Bee and Wasp Stings
For advice about bee and wasp stings, go to the NHS website using the link from this page.
While it is quite rare, some people can have an immediate allergic reaction to being stung. This is known as anaphylactic shock, which can sometimes be fatal. In this instance dial 999 immediately for an ambulance.
Hoverflies look like bees and wasps from a distance. They hover and only have one pair of wings like all other flies. They eat many pest insects and are very useful in the garden. They do not sting and are nothing to worry about.
You are at: www.eastbourne.gov.uk/bees