Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Got another call for a cutout. This one is in a chimney. I don't mean between the chimney and the wall. I don't mean in the chimney flue. These bees are in between the outside chimney brick and whatever is on the other side of the brick.

There are around 7 entrances. Home owner sealed up several last year only to have them open 3 or 4 new ones. The entrances are on 3 sides of the chimney wall above the roof line. Chimney is on the side of the house.

Went up top. Doesn't look like there would be too much to take a pick hammer and pick away the cement covering the top brick and work myself down the brick line. But I would have to vacuum out as many bees as possible before breaking open the chimney.

Owner wants the bees removed safely and doesn't care if the chimney has to be torn apart. His wife is "freaking out".

The link below should show the chimney and some of the entrances. Appears to be a lot of bees in this hive.

http://s146.photobucket.com/albums/...onless Frames/Deadout 2-18-10/Chimney Cutout/

Any ideas or thoughts on my approach?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I feel for you. Depending on the size of the hive you will probably have to remove most of the masonry. Disclaimer: I have some experience with masonry but I'm not a mason. I do carpentry work. If the majority of the entrances are on one end I would start there. You will probably have to take of the dish and the top caps. Then you can start taking off the runs of brick. A good pry bar should do the trick. Just start stair stepping the runs until you get the cut out done. You might not have to remove much in the back. I would have two or three people with strong backs and weak minds. :) You will be moving a lot of weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Getting help is probably not going to happen. Have gotten some help in the past but it's just for a little while (hour or two). I can throw the brick and cement down to the ground so there won't be as much labor. I am sure the home owner will stack or get rid of the brick. Home owner is willing to do what he can to help.

He hasn't decided whether is will get a brick mason to repair the chimney or just completely remove it. They don't use the chimney.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
Might be a candidate for a trap out. Seal all the entrances but one and then trap them out. May not be possible due to the wifes "freaking out" thing. I don't know of any way you can keep lots of junk from fallingdown to the bottom between the flue and the masonary, including comb and bees. I assume the fireplace has a flue and not a metal pipe or just a masonary fireplace with no flue above the damper. If it was they would have bees in the house.

if you do a tear down, be specific that a qualified mason will need to re-build the chimney, or there is a risk of a future fire.

Good luck

Decolores,

jeb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
You need to find out before hand if the brick will be re-used or not. The bricks will not survive the fall. Also you need to watch the flue as you remove the brick. It is installed in sections. After you remove a few runs of brick the flue may loose. I'm not sure how long the sections are. If you get to the end of the section you can probably just pull it off too. I would come help if I had the free time. We have one house that we have sold and has to be finished. That is my side job. Off topic, but I would like to find out who the did the testing that you took earlier for inspecting hives. I work for the state but not the Dept. of Ag. I assume that is who did it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
I am not a mason either. I do a lot of handy man'ing though.
Is this chimney exterior attached or is it coming up through the roof? If it is coming through the roof isn't the owner worried about leaks?
Dropping bricks from the roof to the ground? I hope the owner isn't picky - he will end up with a lot of pulverized ground and broken bricks.

Just some things I thought of (that you probably wished I would have kept to myself ;) )

....
While posting I see others have mentioned a few of the points...
I think the liners are in 4' sections (or at least the ones I have lying about are) - made of ceramic/clay?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
717 Posts
I was a 'brick-tender/hod carrier' for a number of years, years ago. The masons would dump their brick rubble & mortar between the flue and chimney wall. If that's the case here... well you can imagine the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hoodswoods, now you have given me a scenerio I hadn't contemplated nor do I want to see. :scratch:

I will talk to the home owner about saving the brick and flue for reuse. He has already agreed that if he keeps the chimney he will hire a brick mason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,285 Posts
Instead of throwing the brick down. Take may be 3 peices of 2x12 and some plywood or scrape 2by cut the end for the roof pitch and stack the brick on this. Why carry brick back up. :D I do this all the time for paint work ladders,planks and so on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
717 Posts
That process was used to stabilize both the flue and the brick 'wall' (as well as a place to dump the 'tailings') - otherwise everything would be free-standing. Pop the chimney cap and you should be able to determine the construction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
My dad is a brick mason, so I helped mix mortar, carry bricks, build scaffolding etc for about 15 years before I graduated from college. I'm not for killing bees when they can be saved, but this seems like a job for an exterminator and a brick mason. As others have said the inside of a fireplace stack is filled with junk brick bats or concrete blocks as filler. The bricks in the picture look like split blocks(concrete slabs split down the middle to produce a "brick" with all smooth faces except the split side). Sometimes tearing out brick is easy. I depends on how dead the mortar is. Sometimes if the mortar is still hard it is a lot of work to take things apart. If the bees were killed a mason could come and point-up the cracks in the mortar and the bees would not have a way back inside to recolonize the cavity. If you decide to do it, rent some scaffolding and have a good safe place to stand. Looks like a lot of work to me.
Ben
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
...about 15 years...Looks like a lot of work to me.
Ben
15 years around masonry work is hard to argue with. I know nothing compared to that and I thought it sounded like a lot of work for some bees (especially if the homeowner likes the idea now but not after a mess is made. or he has a leaky roof).

Also, just a thought. What if they have entrances above the roof line but follow little cavities to a nest below the roof line?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Going to call him up in the morning and have a discussion about these bees. Explain the cost involved and whether he still wants to save the bees of keep money in his pocket.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top