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Dealing with a McMansion with a 3+ story high chimney. Bees moved in @ 48 hours ago. Owner tried to use gas fireplace on high setting to drive them out - but to no avail. They will call in a chimney service to get me up there on ladder, but I don't like the idea of doing a removal like that. So, could any of you advise from experience if I can put a swarm box, maybe without a bottom up there and have them crawl up into it, or can i drive them to the fireplace with something like BeeGo? Or is there another way?
WJPowers
 

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First thing to consider, how do you/they know it has only been 48 hours unless they saw them move in? Even then, is it possible that they moved into an old colony? The longer they have been in, the less likely it will be “easy” to force them out, especially if they moved onto old comb. In my experience, it will be extremely difficult for you to force them out with Beego, or the like, or putting a box on top of the chimney “blindly”, even if you knew what part of the chimney they were in. I suppose possible, but I would use a combination of smoke, but this would require drilling a hole under where they set up. No way I would be working from a ladder, but it could get you on the roof so you can see what’s going on as far as entrance and where they are located. Without pictures, most likely will have to let them bee, or open up the chimney?
 

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Wow, 3 stories up... lighting the gas fireplace on probably won't do anything. As the flu isn't to carry smoke or heat up. Just a vent for unburnt gas. I think gas burns 99.7 % clean. Also, next to no heat loss up that pipe after about 6' up. Dont attempt a ladder up that high. Also, the chimney probably is over 4-6' above roofline. I'd shear clear of that. Let the home owner and exterminator deal with it. Unless you got a camera down chimney pipe to find em. I'd still not touch it for safety reasons.
 

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Are they in the flue of the chimney or in a cavity next to the chimney? How big of an entrance are the bees using?
This is what I was thinking as well....

It may require removing the exterior surface to actually get the whole mess out. Depending on your construction/ destruction skills, this could be a precarious endeavor. I think I would offer my services to deal with the bee's once they had a qualified contractor (if you're not) that can open access to the bees.

IMO, placing any kind of trap up there, only means you have to have access several times to check it's progress. then, there is still no guarantee it works. Safety and liability is compounded for each trip

These bee's wont be cheap..
 

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Has vent chimney is not necessarily that high above roof. How high is it? Is it a straight chimney? If yes is it capped? I ask because I would expect them to be hanging from something. If you go soon you might be able to take the cap off with the whole swarm attached. Has anyone seen a swarm in a chimney like space that did not have something solid for the comb to hang from; ie with the comb attached only to the sides?
Such an extraction must be paid. Around here exterminators have been known to charge 1000 - 1500 (us$) for bee removal. That means they spray the bees, cut open the wall to remove comb and mess, and you hire a contractor to put it back together! Beekeepers doing a cutout are cheap! The most expensive one I did was 600 and it included me putting the house back together; all work from the ground....
 

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Interior or exterior chimney was my first question.
Gas vent chimney with bee hive. Hope they have CO detector.

If there is a chimney clean out repellent added there is not going to hurt. If only 48 hours a bait on the ground might work.
I would not put repellent at the top of the chimney under any circumstance. A chance for a swarm v a chance for a house full of bees is not a good bet.
 

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Has anyone seen a swarm in a chimney like space that did not have something solid for the comb to hang from; ie with the comb attached only to the sides?
Such an extraction must be paid. Around here exterminators have been known to charge 1000 - 1500 (us$) for bee removal.
Yes I have, but I have never came across one that was actually in the flue (due time I am sure). I have come across a chimney that did have a crack in the upper half of the flue, that gave the bees access to the interior brick cavity around it, they choose the cavity, not the flue. It seems crazy to me to have an exterminator try to kill them & then open up the chimney to remove the colony. If it will be opened regardless, I would skip the exterminator. In this case if it has only been 48 hours, & no previous colony, there may be only a small amount of comb & no need to open the chimney to remove comb and dead bees. Obviously though, the dead bees will be layered at the bottom of the structure.
 
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