In January I met up with Megan for a site check regarding some bees living inside her chimney in Menlo Park. The bees came around last year but sort of disappeared but recently came back. But I think the bee activity was just lower during the cooler months and now the bees are growing in population again and you will notice as more bees are now flying in and out.
Today we tackled the bee rescue. It started as a rescue but then turned out to be save whatever bees we could and remove all the combs with brood, honey, etc. We placed hooks underneath the combs then cut the sides, our attempt to bring up the entire colony at once. But that didn’t go as planned. The first hook I had was about 5 to 6 feet long. Stuck it ALL the way down, with my arm all the way into the chimney. Finally felt the bottom and turned the hook to the bottom of the comb section. I can’t believe the combs were at least 5 feet long! But actually I could since these bees must have been here for about 2 years or longer.
Long story short, it was a mess. We got a few frames of bees in the bee vac. We pulled up about 2/3 of the combs but then 1/3 of it was so heavy with honey they dropped straight to the bottom where we couldn’t retrieve. We brought long extensions but because of the soft wax and heavy combs with honey, we couldn’t lift it. A chimney cleaner will have to be called to clean up the mess as they will have the right tools to get down the chimney.
Thanks Megan for calling us to try to save the bees.