Saying Goodbye to Bees in Our Chimney

Honey bees are fascinating insects, and as they pollinate plants, they’re also extremely beneficial to us humans. But they can also be a nuisance if they build a hive in your home. We suffered from bees in the chimney for eight years before we considered honey bee removal and called in a professional beekeeper.

If you have a honey bee problem, it is important to remove the hive safely and humanely.

Bees in Our Chimney

It began last spring when a bee swarm landed on the side of our home and decided to stay.

We had a chat with some beekeepers — and our local pest control man  (who also keeps bees) —and were advised that the bees in our chimney would go at the end of summer.

Which they did.

But despite being told that they wouldn’t return, in April this year, they came back.

Two summers with the bees in the chimney have been exasperating at times. They often find their way into the house — and they poo everywhere (!)  — but apart from that, they’ve not been too much of a nuisance.

I’ve sustained a couple of stings (from bees that have been hiding in a pile of washing or on a towel, and I’ve not noticed them until it’s too late), but apart from that, they pretty much keep themselves to themselves.

So I wasn’t too worried about our winged tenants until I had a chat with my neighbor’s father — a budding apiarist — who said that our chimney would be absolutely FULL of wax and honey.

WHAT????

Apparently, one bee colony can produce 60 to 100 pounds of honey per year.

So, for two years, our busy bees have been filling our chimney stack with liquid gold. No idea how much is in there, but you can bet that it’s probably quite a lot.

Honey Bee Removal

In July, our bee colony split and swarmed. Apparently, this happens when a new queen is born) and thousands of them left the safety of our chimney to find a new home.

They took up residence in our garden until our neighbour’s father — who’d been ringing round just that week, looking for bees to buy — came to collect them to put in next door’s hive.

It was absolutely fascinating to watch. Here are a few pictures of the honey bee removal as it took place.

Honey Bee Swarm Removal  — Eric rehoming the bees
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Honey Bee Swarm Removal  — Climing up the tree to get to the swarm.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Honey Bee Swarm Removal  — Climing up the tree to get to the swarm and putting the bees in a box.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Honey Bee Swarm Removal  — Climing up the tree to get to the swarm and putting the bees in a box.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Honey Bee Swarm Removal  — Climing up the tree to get to the swarm and putting the bees in a box.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Honey Bee Swarm Removal  — the rescued swarm in a box.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

Watching Eric collect the swarm was really exciting. He was so brave, scaling such a precarious ladder. I wish that removing bees from the chimney stack was as painless and simple though!

Removing Bees from a Chimney

Half of our colony is now in a lovely oak hive next door, whilst the others are still in our chimney.

Whilst we’re having the building work done, it will be a good opportunity to get up on the roof and see if we can remove the rest of the bees and their nest, hopefully, in such a way that won’t harm them.

Because until we remove the honey bees (and their wax and honey), we can’t light a fire.

Our chimney is basically one gigantic beeswax candle.

If you’ve ever experienced anything like this, please let me know! I’d love to hear from you!

Caro Davies editor of The Listed Home
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Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.

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