Bees in the Chimney!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Last week, there was an article in our local paper about a fellow and his family that bought an old vacant home about 10 miles east of us. They were attempting to hook up a wood burning stove to the chimney, and when they uncovered the hole in the wall, found it was full of bees. They have contacted the local bee keepers, extension service, exterminators, etc. No one has any ideas for them, except to tear out the chimney, which goes right up the center of the old home. There are millions of bees, the the combs fill the entire brick chimney, clear to the top. They are now heating with small electric heaters, until someone has a solution for them. What a mess. Anyone ever encounter anything like this? I'm not a beekeeper, but wondered if they couldn't smoke them out somehow, then cut the combs out, wearing protective clothing, of course, and then just burn out the remaining wax and honey? Or would they end up with a chimney fire? No one would even attempt to remove the bees and honeycomb. Guess it pays to check the chimney before you buy! Jan
-- Jan in Colorado (Janice12@aol.com), October 25, 2000
thats the way to do it.
-- STAN (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 25, 2000.
Jan, unfortunately from what you describe the only way to solve the problem is to kill the bees. Please please do not set a fire to 'burn' the honey comb out though. Wax is highly flamable and when wax is on fire it 'runs'. This could easily cause a house fire. I don't envy those folks trying to clean that sticky mess out of their chimney. Cut the combs out and then get a heat gun to melt the wax but not set it on fire. This will probably be a slow process to get it suitable to run a stove pipe through. I am a beekeeper and I wouldn't attempt to hive bees in that situation and I doubt anyone else would either.
-- Amanda S (email@example.com), October 25, 2000.
I think what this guy was looking for was a way to save the bees, but there just doesn't appear to be any way to do that. On the other hand, he wanted to be able to save the honey if the bees had to be destroyed, so didn't want to spray poisons, etc. in the chimney, and was told that wouldn't be effective as it wouldn't penetrate clear down the entire chimney. Glad it isn't me!
-- Jan in Colorado (Janice12@aol.com), October 27, 2000.
does the chimney have a clean-out at the very bottom? in the basement, etc??? if so, how about cutting apiece of 1" plywood the inside dimension of the flue put heavy duty eye bolts in each corner with chain. then from the roof lower it in, piling heavy lead ingots or bricks or something. the idea is that the board is lowered in and the weight of it scrapes the chimney clean, the honey and combs ooze out the bottom. or how about steam-cleaning them out??? i have watched engines being steamcleaned and believe the heat and high pressure would dissolve the whole mess to run right out the cleanout. fire is definitely NOT the answer though. turn the house into a big candle!
-- juno redleaf (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 31, 2000.