2012 Bee Rescues Begin – Menlo Park – Chimney Bees

Received a call from Megan yesterday regarding some bee activity near her chimney. She noticed some bees last year and smoked them, then they seemed to have disappeared but then recently reappeared. So I went for a site check this beautiful afternoon. The activity today was high from my observation while standing infront of the house. A lot of bees moving in and out and I could tell they were already established from their flight pattern. But it was kind of strange because she said she used the fireplace throughout November and the bees are still there.

Well, I climbed up onto the roof and took a peek into the chimney and the way this older house and chimney is constructed, there’s the main chimney flue and there’s a secondary¬† flue. The bees built in that secondary flue which is used to vent the exhaust from the water heater and furnace in the basement.

The bees started building about an arm’s length from the top and because they have been established there for over one year, there’s no way to determine how far they have build downwards until we actually get started on the bee removal. I’ve been thinking of how to best remove them and still save the bees and queen, the brood, maybe. Scheduled the rescue the bees next weekend after delivering an adopted hive in Los Altos.

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3 Responses to 2012 Bee Rescues Begin – Menlo Park – Chimney Bees

  1. I would look at this as a lost opportunity to have a nice colony in a save location.i had a similar situation in Woodland Hills ( L.A.). Bees were living in the chimney of a house I was renting. The smoke from the fire place was actually coming out through a clay flue inside the chimney and the colony was living in the space in between. During the Northridge earthquake the top of the chimney broke off and left the colony open. After talking with the owner, I worked with the masons who were rebuilding the chimney and we left an opening for the bees to use. The bees were very calm during the rebuilding process, as if understanding our intention to preserve their home. We enjoyed the presence of that colony for 5 more years until my move up here,

  2. Yes, it’s unfortunate and I tried to talk the homeowner to keep the bees there as it’s not the main flue. It’s actually the secondary that is used to vent the furnace and water heater from the basement. I’m surprised the CO2 coming off of those hasn’t harmed the bees! Anyways, I’m going to try to pull up the entire hive in one shot. Wish me luck! If the bees move down during my disturbance I have thought up of a few ways to get them up high enough where I can vacuum them up. Hope everything go as planned. Will post Sunday night.

    • I do wish you luck. A sheet metal cookie cutter comes to mind with one longer side, square of opening, which could be pulled under the comb with fishing line, once you cut through the depth of the comb.

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