Quantcast

Bees in chimney

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
I know the answer to this before I even ask but just in case someone has a magic wand :)

This evening I was asked to have a look at a house that clearly has bees in its chimney, we know its been treated before (years ago), the bees killed and then comb removed but at some point in the last few years they have returned and established themselves again.

My question are :-

a) is there anything that would drive a colony to leave its comb/home?

b) I'm guessing there are no options other than to call in pest control, have the comb/honey cleared out and builders repair walls and have the chimney sealed properly.....but is it worth leaving until late winter when the colony is much smaller and the honey volume will be much lower for clearing out?

Cheers

Jez
 

sherwood 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
309
Reaction score
1
Location
herts/bucks/midx border
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
20+National,commercial langstroth
Every chimney job is different Jez. If the fierplace is still active and there is a access for a chimney sweeps brush feed the sweeps brush through a carrier bags botom and tape thebag securely to the fireplace giving a reasonabley secure method of bees coming down the chimney.
I should say this is a two handed job, then the person on the roof neeeds to remove the manderins hat if there is one present and with a knife(scerrated is best) attached to a pole gently gut around the circumference of the chimney.
The person below should at this time have the chimney brush immediately below the blockage. As the person above cuts they should be attempting to ease the rods up the chimney. If successful themajor amount should come out gradually and place the comb hopefully with the queen in a box and move away.
Then treat the chimney with something like jeyes fluid if most of the bees have gone.
Now secure the chimney use expanded aluminum such as they use for plastering or alternatively some OMF mesh inside a manderins hat. This will stop reoccupation, but do bear in mind that if it is a chimney that is used that there must be a free passage of air dont put the mesh on by itself as this provide an ideal base for birds building nests.
Do bear in mind that every job is different and safety both for you and the occupants thereafter is important. You have no insurance for doing these jobs dont forget.
 

DulwichGnome 

Field Bee
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
534
Reaction score
0
Location
SE London, UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
8 & 5 nucs all Rose
You have no insurance for doing these jobs dont forget.
Is there insurance for this kind of thing? Not that I would climb on to a roof but there is always a chance I might be asked to get some from any other part of someone house and it could get a bit messy :boxing_smiley:

Mike.
 

DulwichGnome 

Field Bee
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
534
Reaction score
0
Location
SE London, UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
8 & 5 nucs all Rose
My question are :-

a) is there anything that would drive a colony to leave its comb/home?

b) I'm guessing there are no options other than to call in pest control, have the comb/honey cleared out and builders repair walls and have the chimney sealed properly.....but is it worth leaving until late winter when the colony is much smaller and the honey volume will be much lower for clearing out?

Cheers

Jez
Not that I have a great deal of experience of clearing a chimney, however a couple of questions,

Are they coming in the house and stinging people? If so then it sounds as if they need to something ASAP. Next, do you want these bees? If so it might be an idea to catch a sample put them under a microscope and try and get an idea of their health.

As for leaving them, yes there may be less bees but there may well be more comb and that might mean more damage/repair when you do go for it.

I have read on a number of forums (fora?) that once a hive has been established in a house bees will find it and want to use it again and again so what ever repair is done it needs to be bee proof.

Hope this helps, if not ignore it....:cheers2:

Mike
 
Last edited:

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
Is there insurance for this kind of thing? Not that I would climb on to a roof but there is always a chance I might be asked to get some from any other part of someone house and it could get a bit messy :boxing_smiley:

Mike.
Someone on this forum must be aware of commercial insurance and colony collection cover, hoping ........... :)

Jez
 

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
Every chimney job is different Jez. If the fierplace is still active and there is a access for a chimney sweeps brush feed the sweeps brush through a carrier bags botom and tape thebag securely to the fireplace giving a reasonabley secure method of bees coming down the chimney.
I should say this is a two handed job, then the person on the roof neeeds to remove the manderins hat if there is one present and with a knife(scerrated is best) attached to a pole gently gut around the circumference of the chimney.
The person below should at this time have the chimney brush immediately below the blockage. As the person above cuts they should be attempting to ease the rods up the chimney. If successful themajor amount should come out gradually and place the comb hopefully with the queen in a box and move away.
Then treat the chimney with something like jeyes fluid if most of the bees have gone.
Now secure the chimney use expanded aluminum such as they use for plastering or alternatively some OMF mesh inside a manderins hat. This will stop reoccupation, but do bear in mind that if it is a chimney that is used that there must be a free passage of air dont put the mesh on by itself as this provide an ideal base for birds building nests.
Do bear in mind that every job is different and safety both for you and the occupants thereafter is important. You have no insurance for doing these jobs dont forget.
Thanks, this (unlike the video above) is a typical 1900 terrace with a stone/brick chimney of about 12”-18” diameter and looks like it was capped off years ago – the bees found a way back in at the top. Last time it happened they knocked the bricks out of the chimney from the attic to collect the comb/honey/cr*p – a logistical pigging nightmare as this attic has been converted and boxed out now!

Maybe the best advice is to live with them and catch the swarms as and when they happen.....
 

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
Not that I have a great deal of experience of clearing a chimney, however a couple of questions,

Are they coming in the house and stinging people? If so then it sounds as if they need to something ASAP. Next, do you want these bees? If so it might be an idea to catch a sample put them under a microscope and try and get an idea of their health.

As for leaving them, yes there may be less bees but there may well be more comb and that might mean more damage/repair when you do go for it.

I have read on a number of forums (fora?) that once a hive has been established in a house bees will find it and want to use it again and again so what ever repair is done it needs to be bee proof.

Hope this helps, if not ignore it....:cheers2:

Mike
Few come in but not many, first step is to put a bait hive there tonight as they have had 2 swarms this year already - never called me for them !!!! agghh

Main issue funny enough is the bee cleansing flights dropping on cars, other than that they seem ok - very high up.

Jez
 

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
ok, I did a quick site visit on this property and the bees are very active from the hole in the chimney cap.

Did someone post images of how they placed a brood box on top of a exit in order to extract/transfer the colony? - sorry if that sound confusing but there have been threads giving examples on extracting colonies from buildings.

Anyone point be to the thread from last year? (I did a search and failed to find)

Will try and get some pictures on the location as any advise would be useful.

ta

JD
 

Bcrazy 

Drone Bee
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
1,491
Reaction score
5
Location
Warboys, CAMBS
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
nil bees given away all colonies
I tried last year to get a colony out from a roof please see photo's.

I left a Nuc there overnite with half a frame of brood with other bees. Not sure what happend but all that was left was the brood NO bees.

Needless to say I was not able to get at the colony in the roof.
 

hedgerow pete 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
3,660
Reaction score
5
Location
UK, Birmingham, Sandwell. Pork scratching Bandit c
Hive Type
national
I have done quite a few chimneys and there are three ways or dealing with them either burn or smoke them out from the fire place and chase them when they leave
option two is to knock a hole in the chimney breast in the loft if it is possible or lastly get onto the roof to the chimney pots and then remove the nest from the top.
option four is to leave it alone as it is very deadly working on roffs and the hire or ladders /scafolding is to great to repay the cost of a nuc of bees


either way the biggest issue here is getting full acess to them and there nest and doing it safely!!

bait hives are a great way but if you are asked to remove then either remove or kill them off but dont leave to pester the owners of the house some i win many i lose

also it depends on what damage/acess the client will tolerate some will allow you to dismantle chimney breast others want you to wave a magic wand form the road way


by what you have said it will be a top down job , the only way of doing this safely is with a scafold tower like the pictures this willl cost someone a hundred quid at least may be more if they have to build it because you may or may not have a ticket to do so , so its cheaper to buy a nuc rather than save a swarm

but any way once the tower is up it is a simple case of hammering a chiesel around what ever is capping the top. now becarfull when lifting this off as a lot of time the combs are built onto this so lift it straight up and over you nuc box, then we cut the combs free and using elastic bands fix them into the empty brood frames you have, now worst case is the nest is fixed into the chimney a few feet down we either start dismantling the breast to get to it or we try to remove the combs as they are so this time we will need a couple of broom handles with a BIG nail in the side slide it between two combs and turn it around by 90 degrees so the nail is stuffed into the comb then using the second broom handle with a paint /wall paper scraper tied to the end we cut the where the comb touches the wall then when free lift the comb up and again elastic bands and the empty frames once its all out we then re moter the top back onto the chimney , make sure that you use plenty of compo as the bees will try to get back in
 

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
thanks guys, I have asked the owner to price up scaffolding etc, she is also checking to see if her insurance company will pay up as she thinks it maybe covered.

I was sure I had seen someone who had made a none return entrance (like a pipe) and somehow encouraged the bees to move into a brood box in place, I need to do a search again.

Fire/smoke is not an option as things are all blocked up - the bees actually enter via the capped chimney and have been there for a few years as its become an annual event dealing with the swarms. Don’t mind heights and I would change full day rate for dealing with it.

I will post some pics for you to take a gander, they should be flying tomorrow.

JD
 

sherwood 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
309
Reaction score
1
Location
herts/bucks/midx border
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
20+National,commercial langstroth
As far as I am aware there is no insuarance policy that covers the cost of removing bees. I beleive that that this is both becausethe bees are protected and that they are considered a naturally occurring God like hazard.
 

hedgerow pete 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
3,660
Reaction score
5
Location
UK, Birmingham, Sandwell. Pork scratching Bandit c
Hive Type
national
once the bees have used the chimney once no matter how many times you remove them a swarm will always find it as it smells just right for them. there is a chimney by me thats exactley the same what you want to do is to completely remove every thing inside then what you want to do is to stuff some thing down the chimney say an old boiler suit or use modern expanding foam at least a foot below the top then seal the inside with a couple of bricks then a good couple of inches of compo then more compo at say 4 to 1 and then the paving slab topper or the next way is to go in to the loft where they have done the refurb and drill a couple of 10mm holes neatly through the plaster board wall and into the chimney breast in the outer ones push some thin dowels of wood the idea is to stick a couple of sticks inside the chimney so the last hole that will have the nossel of the spray foam , the foam will catch onto some thing rather than just filling the chimney from the bottom up.


what i normaly do is foor holes into the chimney central area three at one level ( guess to be below the swarm nest ) anyway three holes going across and a fourth hole about a foot higher this is the one where we squirt the foam canister, since most canisters come with two nossels to play safe squirt half the can one time then give it a few hours for the foam to expand and set then do it again with the other half. in this way the owner can happily live there lives with out the bees coming into the house and as the chimney exit is on the roof they should be high enough out of there way
 

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
As far as I am aware there is no insuarance policy that covers the cost of removing bees. I beleive that that this is both becausethe bees are protected and that they are considered a naturally occurring God like hazard.
dunno, it was her that suggest it as she is also getting hassle from locals, mainly due to cleansing flights and their cars :)

I will let you know if she gets lucky, also, since when are bees protected? in law? I dont think they are as she could call in pest control tomorrow. zap and they are gone.
 

Latest posts

Top