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burntfacedjake 

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Hi

I am not a beekeeper but would welcome some advice from anyone who is both a beekeeper and a plumber!

Two days ago I noticed that bees were entering and exiting the safety discharge pipe of my central heating boiler. The pipe leads directly into the boiler so I assume that there is a colony in there somewhere.

My prime concern is of course safety, and the fact that this could cause some kind of dangerous blockage. Also, I don't want to have to destroy the colony if possible.

Has anyone any advice?

Thanks
 

oliver90owner 

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Contact your local BKA for advice and possible assistance (internet, local police station may have details or a contact number). Do be sure they are honey bees and not wasps or bumble bees, so that you are more likely to get them removed by a LBKA member. Otherwise contact the appropriate people (pest control for wasps, ? for bumbles). If they are bumbles, hopefully there should be an alternative to destruction.

Regards, RAB
 

victor meldrew 

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I am a beekeeper but not a plumber, however I fail to see how a safely discharge pipe can accommodate a colony of bees .

Is your boiler a condensing one and are you sure that the pipe isn't the condensate pipe ?
There is a reservoir /vacuum break in the condensate line but even this wouldn't accommodate a colony either .
Maybe the bees are drinking the condensate ?
Should they be entering the condensate pipe and should they block it the boiler would cease to function until the blockage was cleared.
The condensate pipe is often frozen in severe weather ( which stops the boiler from working) this event is now minimised by routing the pipe internally into bath or sink waste system .
Hope this helps .

John Wilkinson
 

burntfacedjake 

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Hi John

I checked the boiler manual and the pipe the bees are entering is definitely the discharge pipe for the safety valve, rather than the condense outlet pipe. It's reassuring to know that there wouldn't be room for a colony, but honeybees are still coming and going. I will follow up local advice and see where that leads

Thanks
 

victor meldrew 

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Hi John

I checked the boiler manual and the pipe the bees are entering is definitely the discharge pipe for the safety valve, rather than the condense outlet pipe. It's reassuring to know that there wouldn't be room for a colony, but honeybees are still coming and going. I will follow up local advice and see where that leads

Thanks
Fair enough but if the pipe is indeed the safety valve discharge pipe ,then really it should be returned back to the wall as scolding water/steam can be ejected during fault conditions !. If correctly installed ,the open end of the pipe shouldn't be visible ? Leading me to suspect the the bees are entering your cavity wall
where the pipe is located. Again if this is so , I'm afraid the bees will have to be culled as extensive masonary work would have to be undertook in order to retrieve them:(.

John Wilkinson
 

dale popham 

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i am a beekeeper and gas safe eng. if they are going up the safty discharge pipe they have no where to go as they will reach the safty discharge valve wich is always closed unless the boiler pressure goes over 3 bar then it will open and if that is the case you need to call eng as you have a problem with the boiler. but if they are going up condens pipe they could make the home inside the fire chamber but again they would be fryed when the boiler calls for heat. and if that is the case the boiler would not fire if condens pipe is blocked . you should check they are not going in the wall cavity. victor if you are looking for a job in the gas field i think you might do all right spot on advice. i think i need to sack my fellow worker and employ you lol.
 

victor meldrew 

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victor if you are looking for a job in the gas field i think you might do all right spot on advice. i think i need to sack my fellow worker and employ you lol.
An Aircraft (avionics/electrical)engineer for 42 years, As the contracts varied I was sort of re-mustered and up to retirement became ad-hoc plant engineer ,meaning that I occasionally reverted back to my original responsibilities when required .
Gas was used extensively in the plant (glad I didn't have to pay the bill).
Some of our supply lines were 6" diameter and had to be purged with nitrogen before we were allowed to dismantle them !!

John Wilkinson
 

Rollo P 

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I would suspect the bees are getting water condensate from the pipe.
 

tkwinston4 

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We had a similar situation last year but it was masonry bees. There was no damage and it was only a few (looks like more when you stand there and watch because you only ever see one or two leaving and we didn't mark every bee so didn't know if it was just the same ones going to and fro) within a month they were gone. Probably just after moisture. :)
 

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