Interesting Chimney Bees Swarm

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by blueblood, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I received a call today from a new resident in a county adjacent to mine that received my name from a local exterminator. That in itself was odd as I haven't given my name to any. Either word spreads fast or my local bee assoc. swarm list helped
    me out. The homeowner asks me if I would like some bees. He said they were in the top of his chimney...oh boy
    :confused:. I would like very much for any of you to share some wisdom with me on this one. Here is the info I have so far:

    -new to home, old owner said the bees are a yearly problem in the chimney

    -the stone chimney shell appears to be stone only with the fire box at the bottom in the living room and a partial pipe at the top of the chimney with a rain guard.

    -a 14" square piece of sheet metal is screwed down with concrete screws from the top which covers the chimney shell. The tube is attached to the metal on top.

    -there is a space between the bottom of this metal square and top of the stone chimney. I can see the bees clinging like a typical swarm under the metal square near the stone inside. I did not see any comb. I did not see any comb or bees looking up the chimney from the bottom in the house. Note: owners had to seal the edges of the fire place yesterday because 50 or so bees exited the settled in the corner of the living room :shock:

    -owners said they lit a fire last night. They found a swarm of bees on the top of the chimney this morning. I saw the picture and it looked to be a very large mass of bees, maybe 4-5" tall by half the length of the widest part of the top of the chimney. The bees must have exited when the fire was lit and then went back in when the chimney cooled down. I did find a crispy bee on the top of the chimney.

    Lure them out with drawn comb in a super? I don't have any lemon grass oil. Open the top of the chimney and vacuum then out? I don't have a set up for this yet? Cross my fingers and hope they are clinging to the bottom of the chimney lid and dump them in a super? Start a fire in the fireplace and force them out on the top of the chimney and then brush them in a super? Anybody had one like this? This would be very high above the house....heights and blueblood don't mix well....:eek: Here are a few pics....

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  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Step 1... RUN

    Step 2... RUN FASTER

    Step 3... Catch the next train out of town.
     

  3. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Ha! Iddee, thanks for the inspiration......:wink: I am thinking the least I could try is setting a nuc or super up there and see if they take to it...
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Go ahead. After all, it's only time and money.


    And maybe a few stings.

    As my D.I. said in the army, ""Good Training""
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    :lol::lol:

    If heights and Blueblood don't mix very well then throw in a couple of good bee stings all while standing on a ladder with no where to go (well except down of course). I see spray foam in some of the cracks so you are not the first one to try and save the bees.

    If I were you I would pass this one up. But at least take some video if you don't, makes for good training films!!:lol:
     
  6. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I agree with ya G...I may very well pass but I thought at very least I would set a deep up there with lemon grass oil (If I can find some locally) and then light that fireplace to force them out again. Maybe they will migrate over to the box...otherwise, I will orgetfay ethay imneychay armsway, ha!:grin:

    I bet you guys would love a good funniest home video...I mean training video....:cool:
     
  7. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I crawled up the ladder and set a nuc with full foundations in frames with a little sugar water on frames and the outside of the nuc entrance. I did not have any lemongrass oil so I rubbed the inside of a lemon and the lemon itself around the inside of the nuc and on the outside. I did not pull that out of the air. I read about it somewhere on the web...okay, sometimes that is like pulling something out the air, ha! Anyway, I had my doubts the bees were new to this site when I reached the top and 3 guard bees decided to start intimidating me by charging and circling my veil from the top of the chimney and on the roof until I started my smoker. They are obviously protecting their hive, how old of a hive I don't know.

    We burnt a handful of dead leaves in the fireplace to produce some heavy smoke. I discovered there is no stove pipe, just the stone. It did not take long for the bees to exit the chimney. They grouped on my nuc and the side of the chimney near the nuc. The number of bees looked like the amount I have been seeing on my swarm calls. The bees were going in and out the nuc when I left. We may push a little smoke up that chimney every few days to aggravate the bees enough they will either take up in my nuc or leave. I am hoping for the former.

    I know this is all a shot in the dark. The next step if this does not work is to remove the cover and vac the bees and pull the comb. I am am pretty sure they are at the top. Here are some pics. I took some video with my phone they did not come out well.

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  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Looks like a good plan to me. At least yours are in the chimney, and you can smoke the bees from below. I have a scaffold to rent soon. They are in between the floors next to the chimney. Fortunately behind a crumbling piece of cheap siding. Luck to both of us. Yours would be a longer fall. Be careful.
     
  9. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Thanks! Yes, very long fall...I was really nervous up there and then it didn't help things when the bees decided to start intimidating me, ha! I ordered some lemongrass oil from amazon and will use it this week if I don't see any positive results....Are you going to post your venture with it?
     
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think my venture is on here somewhere. Posted way back in March. an unsuccessful Hogan Swarm trap, first I couldn't get open brood, too early. I'll post it later. Can't find it...
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  11. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I am meeting homeowner Saturday to see if we can remove the cap and and cut these bees out....
     
  12. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Made it out to the chimney hive at noon. The homeowner told me the bees had left but I suspected they were still there considering he made his observation early morning. I observed 2-3 bees immediately. The homeowner was very helpful. He helped me lug all of my equipment up there and helped me with various things on the roof. I lifted the cap and saw a small covering of bees inside the chimney. The chimney pipe was too long and heavy to completely remove. So, I propped the cap/plate up with bricks so I could get my vac hose in there. I looked down the chimney as far as my light would reach and did not see any further bees or comb. They were bringing in plenty of pollen which made me wonder. I did however, I do believe what I saw under the covering of bees was the beginning of their comb construction.

    I vacuumed most of the bees along the inside of the chimney wall. I had the homeowner burn a handful of leaves in his firebox to smoke the rest out. I vacuumed the largest remainder of bees after that as they exited. The only bees left were foragers making their way back home. The homeowner is going to seal the cap up this week to help prevent this again.

    The homeowner tried to pay me but I declined and thanked him for letting me use his chimney for practice for when I do start charging. However, in lieu of payment, I asked him if I could try out my lemongrass oil in a trap on his property. He thought that was great and helped me pick out a spot.

    I had quite a few bees in the box. I will be combining them with my weak packaged hive #4 in a couple of days. There are not enough bees to do anything even if I did mange to capture the queen. If there is a queen, my friend who took one of the nucs from my trapout needs a queen.

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