Forum home Wildlife gardening

The Buzzing bush!

On Monday it was quite warm where we live and as we were loading up the car for a day out (about 8am) we noticed a relatively loud buzzing from the Laurel bush at the top of the drive. As I said we where on our way out and so left it, but clocked it for further inspection.

Yesterday was pretty grey and misrable but I decided to go out and just double check the bush. There was still buzzing but really quiet this time

It's approx 7 - 8ft tall and 7ft long and say 5ft wide so a decent size, and is pretty dense. There is a ginnel (pathway for those of you who are non Lancastrian) that runs the other side of the bush as a public footpath.

Now my concerns are:-

1) are these likely to be bees setting up home in there, (I was working on theory there seemed to be more activity when it as warm, I didn't look just in case it was and I might get stung)

2) because the bush is ours do we need to take responsibility for this or should it be the council because it is right next to a public foot path which is used a fair bit by dog walkers, mums and kids going to the local school down the road etc.

3) if it is our responsibility is it just easier to call the local bee keeping society? (bearing in mind I haven't looked in the bush because I don't really want to disturb bees if I don't need to)



  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    I'm not a bee-keeper so take my comments with caution.

    There was a little piece about swarming bees on SpringWatch last week. They said that because there is no honey to protect, swarming bees are not aggressive. There was some footage of a brave soul putting their hand into a ball of bees. Not recommended, but apparently safe.

    Best way to find out is to have a careful peep.

    If it is bees then get some professional advice.

  • Moonlit HareMoonlit Hare Posts: 153

    It surely will be careful! I'll wait until it's a cool day and maybe not quite so active, (assuming they are bees... better safte than sorry!)

    Thanks Gary,

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    My parents had a swarm in their garden, bee keepers were fighting to get their hands on it.

  • BenDoverBenDover Posts: 480
    I've got honey bees gathering around my laurel - I thought it odd because it has no flowers. I was planning to trim the hedge back because its suddenly got very unruly but after reading this, I am not so sure! Not brave enough to tuck my face into the greenery to have a closer look. I have sat in a garden on a warm balmy evening drinking a beer when a swarm arrived once. I ran in side like a demented little girl. My wife thought my knickers had gotten too tight!
  • chilli loverchilli lover Posts: 290


    We have 6 bee colonies - including one in a hollow tree. I don't think that they would be making a home in the laurel as the infrastructure would not be right. If the buzzing was loud on Monday a swarm may have arrived but 8.00am is too early in the day really - from 10.30 to early afternoon is more typical as the temperatures are higher.

    If there is a swarm in there and they had decided to make it home you would be seeing bees flying in and out. Why not take a look - it's very unlikely a quick peek will get you a sting.

    As it happens our pyracantha which covers the garage wall is in full flower and I actually gragged OH outside at the weekend and said listen to this as our wall was really humming! Up close it was absolutely teeming with honey bees, bumble bees and other insects. A wounderful sight and experience.

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    Not many people realise that laurels are immensely important to wildlife, I call my mature one the local supermarket because from early spring onwards its alive with wasps, bees and other buzzing creatures, let alone the birds that nest. I think only my Ivy does more for wildlife (a very underrated plant!)

    even before the flowers pop on a laurel,a lot of different insects are busy looking for grubs and such to get their nests off to a fine start, nests that are very probably some place else.image

    Again, its possible to find nest activity in any garden shrub, tree or the bare soil! but its also very usual to support wildlife with supermarkets that you don't even realise are there.image

    P.S you can tell if there is a nest by watching for flying traffic that will be quite busy.

  • Moonlit HareMoonlit Hare Posts: 153

    Thanks Peeps, I've just been to have a sneeky peep and couldnt see anythign but we are still buzzing! there are a lot of bumble bees knocking around which are the wrong kind of bees for an apiery (? spelling?) I've had a look on the local bee keeping site and apparently they will just toddle off towards the end of summer and do their own thing, I just hope nobody complains about them before they get chance to go.

    I suppose it's a good sign that all is well in the garden if theres a good balance of wildlife!

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892
    Moonlit Hare wrote (see)

    ...there are a lot of bumble bees knocking around which are the wrong kind of bees for an apiery ...

    That's right, bumble bees are different to honey bees.

    I actually posted a snap, on another thread, of lots of bumble bees circulating around some ivy in my own garden:

     They were not swarming, but nest building, in a hole in a wall behind the ivy.

  • chilli loverchilli lover Posts: 290


    Because we have hives we are often called to check out a swarm in someones's bird box or compost heap but to date they have all been our lovely bumblebees! if you get a honeybee swarm you will recognise it - this is how they assemble immediately post-swarm prior to looking fo a permanent home (paste the link)

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    That swarm looks like it's in a laurel!

Sign In or Register to comment.