How to Remove Bees From a Chimney

A honey bee colony that makes itself at home in your chimney presents a special problem. If angered, the bees can sting children and pets. There are numerous arguments against using insecticides or trying to burn them out or smoke them out.

There is one safe, ingenious way to get them out, but it takes a handy homeowner and a lot of patience.

Seal the chimney except for a single entrance at the top.

Make a cone out of aluminium fly screen wire. Any light wire with a thin, tight mesh will do. The cone that you make should be about four inches at the bottom and three-eighths of an inch at the top.

Put this wire cone over the entrance that you have left for the bees to go in and out of the chimney. Make sure that the hole at the top of the cone is the only way that the bees have of coming and going from your chimney.

Place a box hive next to the wire cone escape route. Make sure that it is secure. This hive should have a head start. It should contain a collecting frame, some honey and a queen who has begun laying. You can buy or rent an undeveloped box hive for this purpose.

The bees returning to their hive will have a hard time getting inside the chimney because the entrance at the top of the wire cone is so small. They will deposit their honey in the adjoining hive that you have put in place for them.

Out of the hundreds of young bees that exit, only a few bees will make it through the small entrance at the top of cone. The rest will deposit their honey in the adjacent hive.

Inside the chimney, the queen suffers from the loss of foragers. She slows down and stops laying honey. Meanwhile the nurse bees use the stored honey and pollen until the brood hatches and leave the chimney.

Over time the bees, oblivious to the scam you have perpetrated on them, will switch the location of their hive from the chimney to the adjoining box hive.

This moving of bees from the chimney to the box hive can take weeks or even months. In the end the chimney should be empty of honey and pollen. The queen will have perished. You can recover the wax.

Remove the new hive from the roof and take it somewhere far away.