Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    17

    Default Wild honey bee hive

    Last summer some neighbors across a field from us had most of the trees clearcut on their property. Unfortunately, one of the trees they cut down was apparently a bee tree. Next thing we know we have wild honey bees flying around our house chimney.

    My wife called a few bee keepers in the area and one guy told her that it was too late in the summer to transfer a hive and that most likely the bees would die off in the winter as they wouldn't have had time to make enough honey to survive.

    During the winter I climbed up on the roof and looked down the chimney and couldn't see any signs of the bees so assumed they had died off.

    A couple days ago we started noticing that honey bees were around our house and noticed that again we had bees flying in and out of our chimney.

    Note: We have a brick and cinder block chimney that has two flues. One flue is for our woodstove and it gets used during the winter months. The other flue is a left over from when our house had an oil furnace, but that was replaced with a heat pump so that flue is no longer used except by the bees.

    For years we've had chimney swifts in the used flue each year, which means we don't have wood fires from spring until fall after the swift migration is over. We've had over 100 birds a night using the chimney during migration times. However, with the bees last year it pretty well discouraged the swifts and very few used our chimney last fall.

    Last night after dark I climbed back up to look down the chimney and see what the bees were doing. This time I was able to see what was going on as a few of the bees were still crawling around in the chimney and I could see why I missed seeing it during the winter.

    About a foot down the flue where there is a mortar seam, there appears to be an opening in the mortar and the bees are using it as an entrance into the chimney framework which I assume is hollow between the two flues. I could see several bees crawling around this opening.

    What should I do?

    Last resort is to spray Raid or something in the opening at night and fill up the hole with fresh mortar which should entrap the bees. However, I would rather save the hive if it could be moved.

    Is there anyone in the Washington county Oregon interested in saving the hive?

    Obviously, tearing apart the chimeny is not an option. I would rather find some way of encouraging them to relocate.

    We do have the old furnace vent opening into that flue from our garage, so it would be possible to put smoke in at the bottom, but don't know how effective that would be in getting the bees out of the chimney.

    We have a fair size fruit orchard so having the bees around is nice and if someone could move them to a hive box, I would prefer it if the hive could be left at our place through spring.

    Is it possible to set up a hive box near the chimney and maybe attract them to using that or is the chimney too good of a home for them to make them want to move?

    If someone didn't want the hive, but could offer help that would also be great. My father got a hive box and stuff several years ago for at his place, but never got any bees so I do have access to some of the things I would need if I decided to become a beekeeper.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,367

    Default Re: Wild honey bee hive

    Hello and Welcome.

    Some thoughts. You would want to at least get any honey out of the hive, as well as most of the bees, before you seal up the entrance, as it will ferment and can cause problems.

    To accomplish this you do what is called a trap out, and once you get the bees out of the current hive and into a new home you need to let them rob out the old hive of all the honey and move it into the new one. I would not use any pesticides, unless all else fails. You will want help with this.

    You can search the forums for "trap out" and get a lot of information.
    You should contact a local bee keeping club, and they may be able to help.
    There are bee keepers who will remove bees professionally (for a fee).

    Good luck,
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,797

    Default Re: Wild honey bee hive

    Welcome, I hope you find a beekeeper to help. That will be a lot of work for little reward.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Wild honey bee hive

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    Hello and Welcome.

    Some thoughts. You would want to at least get any honey out of the hive, as well as most of the bees, before you seal up the entrance, as it will ferment and can cause problems.

    Good luck,
    You may have missed that the current hive is inside a chimney structure. I'm not going to tear apart a good chimney to get access to the hive.

    I don't know what problems you're referring to if was sealed up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Wild honey bee hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Irontrader View Post
    I don't know what problems you're referring to if was sealed up.
    Eventually, comb will break and you will have honey spilled in there. No matter how well you seal it, ants and roaches will find it. The broken comb may (personal speculation here) find it's way to a place that could get hot enough to melt the wax. Then you'll have fuel dripping or pouring further down. I just don't know if I would be comfortable with some of the possible outcomes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Wild honey bee hive

    Wouldn't using the trapout method encourage the bees to move their current honey into the the new hive box? It that happened then there wouldn't be honey left behind inside the chimney structure.

    Besides once it is sealed up in theory there is no access to the inner part of the chimney unless there are other mortar holes I haven't found.

    Not too worried about roaches as I've never seen one in our area in all the years I've here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,647

    Default Re: Wild honey bee hive

    Might be time to get your chimney inspected

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    knoxville, tn
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Wild honey bee hive

    The bees do not carry honey out of the hive to put it into another hive just because it is store bought, they are happy just where they are.

    A trap out uses a cone made of hardware cloth shaped into a funnel (think of a minnow trap) with a small hole just big enough for two drones to be able to exit. Once the bees leave the hive, via the trap OUT cone, they can not get back in. Since they were leaving to go forage for nectar and pollen they are leaving empty handed. A bait hive is set up next to the cone and baited with brood which includes eggs. The returning bees will now go into the bait hive to cover (keep warm and feed) the brood and will sense they are queenless and draw out a queen cell to raise a new queen. After several weeks the original hive will start to dwindle down and they will abscond (leave) for a better place to live. When you don't see any bees exiting out of the cone anymore then the funnel can be removed and now the bees in the bait hive will rob out the honey stores in the original hive. The only thing that will be left in the original hive location will be the wax comb. Now seal the holes up so that another swarm can't move in.

    This could take up to two months to accomplish this.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads