Word has probably got around by now that bees are extremely useful animals. As hobby gardeners, we have every reason to protect these animals. Nevertheless, it can of course happen that they interfere. If you discover a bee nest in a roller shutter box in the house or under the roof, you don’t have to panic right away, but should simply remove it carefully.

bees or wasps?

First of all, it is important to find out what type of nest it is. Does it actually come from bees or from wasps or hornets? The latter are relatively easy to spot because a single hornet is often twice or even three times the size of a bee or wasp. Wasps can be distinguished from bees by the following external characteristics:

  • Colour: a brown base color in bees, conspicuous black and yellow stripes in wasps
  • Hairiness: Bees have a lot of hair on their chests, wasps are hardly hairy
  • Physique: bees appear rather plump, wasps have a pronounced waist
  • Mouthparts: Bees have a proboscis, wasps have chewing tools

The question of what type of nest it is is of such great importance because hornet nests must not be touched and, like wasp nests, they pose a much greater risk. If you want to remove a wasp nest, it is best to contact a professional for safety reasons. In principle, this is also recommended for a bee nest, but with smaller nests in the spring you can also venture to resettle them yourself. Simply destroying the nest should not be an option to seriously consider, for the well-known reasons.

Tip: Exploring the nest should be done with extreme caution and very carefully so as not to panic the animals. It is best to approach him only in protective clothing or with a hat and gloves.

Relocation of smaller nests

If it is actually a bee nest, it depends on how big it is. In spring, the nests are usually still relatively small. Up to a size that roughly corresponds to that of a handball, you can try to remove a nest yourself. For this you need the following:

  • Hat, goggles, gloves for protection
  • long-sleeved clothing
  • a closable container into which the nest fits
  • a shovel

The nest is carefully loosened with the shovel and then placed in the container. This can be a closable bucket, for example. If the nest is in the jar, it will be sealed immediately. Then you spend it in a sheltered place, for example in the forest. The animals feel very comfortable in a hollow tree trunk. The nest can then be released again into such a trunk or in its immediate vicinity. Care should be taken not to damage it.

Relocation of larger nests

As a layman, you should better keep your hands off a larger bee nest. On the one hand, the risk of damaging it is enormous. On the other hand, dangerous attacks by the bees that have panicked as a result of the measure can occur. The following applies: If the nest is larger than a handball, a professional should definitely be commissioned to remove it. If you discover a bee nest on the terrace or balcony, in a roller shutter box, under the roof or simply in a place in the garden where it is annoying, it is best to first call a beekeeper for help. You can find the addresses of beekeepers in the local telephone book or in the directory of associations in your community. A beekeeper knows exactly how to deal with the animals and their nests. He also has the necessary equipment for this.

Tip: If you can’t find a beekeeper right away, a call to the municipal or city administration often helps. There you usually know competent people who can help you.

If there is an acute danger from the bee nest, which is usually only very rarely the case, you can also call the fire brigade. Even a professional exterminator is able to safely remove such a nest. However, you have to reckon with costs between 100 and 150 euros.


In contrast to wasps, bees do not seek proximity to humans. It is therefore relatively rare for them to build a nest in the immediate vicinity of humans. Most supposed bee nests are therefore also wasp nests . Bees tend to be shy. They will always try to hide their nest. Cavities of all kinds are perfect for this. So if you want to prevent them from settling or nest building from the outset, it is best to close all conceivable cavities in and around the house. Every roller shutter box and the area under the roof should be examined carefully. When it comes to bee nests, prevention is always better than removal.


Incidentally, you should also seriously ask yourself whether the bee nest has to be removed at all. Bees are far less aggressive than wasps. They eat exclusively vegetarian food and rarely bother people when they are having breakfast on the terrace or balcony. Their hunger for sweets is also not as pronounced as that of wasps. Normally, something like peaceful coexistence between bees and humans is possible. Incidentally, you can make life easier for bees and protect yourself at the same time by simply creating spaces in the garden that are attractive to the animals. An empty tube with a minimum diameter of 20 centimeters invites them to build a nest. In any case, removing a nest should only ever be the very last option – provided, of course,

A smaller bee nest is relatively easy to remove yourself. With a larger one, on the other hand, a professional must do it. It is best to discuss the problem with a beekeeper. He knows exactly how to deal with the bees and their nests. He can also provide valuable help and tips when it comes to prevention.

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