The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps
Powering Chimney Sweeping into the 21st Century

Bees in chimneys

01 February, 2021
Bees in chimneys

Bees nesting in chimneys can be a problem and traditionally an insecticide would be used if they need to be removed.  But it’s possible to remove the whole nest and save the bees.

Bee and chimney expert Keith Mitchell shares his fantastic work on live bee nest removals.

Bees nesting in chimneys are a common problem that we in the chimney industry are all familiar with. When bees swarm out of a hive it is their natural way of dividing a colony. They usually hang in a cluster in a tree while scout bees search for a new nest site, and they occasionally choose a chimney. If it’s an unused chimney and they’re not entering the house or causing any problems, the best thing to do is leave them there. Wild bee colonies are usually very healthy and do not cause any structural damage to the chimney. The bonus of being a ‘hands off’ bee-keeper is a large number of bees pollinating the garden flowers and an increase in the runner bean crop!

Flying bees only live for about 6 weeks and in a healthy colony up to 50 dying bees a day will drop down through the nest and may enter the house through a fireplace or air vent. These bees then crawl around the floor and may fly to the window, they are docile and lacking energy as their work in this world is done. To stop them entering the house, stuff earth wool loft insulation up the unused chimney or behind the air vent. The bees then die in the chimney behind or above the insulation and can easily be removed every 5 years or so. There is sufficient air passing through the insulation to keep the chimney dry and to desiccate the dead bees.

Read the full article here: Bees in Chimneys


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