Relocating Honey Bees from Chimney - thatched cottage with red circle round chimney showing where the bees were
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Relocating Honey Bees from Chimney

Joint effort to remove and relocate Honey Bees from a Swindon Chimney

Relocating Honey Bees from Chimney - thatched cottage with red circle round chimney showing where the bees were

Relocating Honey Bees from Chimney
A customer contacted us because they had a problem with honey bees at their property. The bees were in the chimney, which being up so high, would normally be okay. But this customer was enduring repeated stings as the bees entered the living room via the chimney stack. It’s  a common misconception that bees are protected – they’re not. It’s also a common misconception that pest control kill operatives kill everything – we don’t.

Providers of honey have near universal affection in the UK. They rarely present problems as pests. But feral swarms can set up home in undesirable places such as chimneys and wall cavities. Honey bees are small and vary in colour from golden brown to almost black.

The best possible solution would be to extract the bees and rehome them. Easy right?

Well this isn’t something we could do alone. We knew the job needed a joint effort from other local businesses to achieve the goal of extracting the bees and rehoming them.

 

 

 

DNQ SCAFFOLDING are a local small family run business with 11 years experience in the scaffolding industry. Fully Qualified and insured, they can cater for all your scaffolding needs. There really is no job too big or small. Darren did an excellent job on this scaffolding for us, which was tricky to navigate the thatched roof, but he managed it with perfection, and the scaffolding was key to a successful extraction.

 

The Builder

K J Building based in Shrivenham helped us gain access to the hive. Kelvin arrived on time every time and did an amazing job of cutting into the chimney, removing the pot and taking the concrete from the top of the chimney. Kelvin then returned to rebuild the chimney on the listed cottage with limestone mortar thus making it as good as new.

The removal of the bees

With the hive exposed, extraction was next on the agenda. We called in back up from our friends at South West Pest Control. They provided the equipment for us to be able to extract the bees safely into what is called a nucleus, or nuc for short. The first task was vacuuming the bees up into the nuc and removing honeycomb as we went. Then we separated dry and contaminated honeycomb from the honey that remained edible.

 

With majority of the bees sucked into the nuc, and all of the honeycomb removed, it was time to descend down from the scaffolding for a well earned drink. Richard from SWPC decided that it would be a good idea to take the bees to his friend Ron at the Swindon Honeybee Conservation Group in Stanton Fitzwarren.

The damage to the sheds and hives; inset: Ron Hoskins Pictures: ADVER

The Stanton bees

Those local to Swindon may remember that in March 2020, vandals targeted Ron’s hives starting a fire which caused over £21,000 worth of damage.

Three young men were accused of setting the fire that destroyed a Swindon beekeeper’s apiary at Stanton Country Park on March 16 last year. It’s estimated that the fire caused £21,000-worth of damage, including killing scores of super-bees bred for their resistance to the deadly varroa mite.

At the time, beekeeper Ron Hoskins of the Swindon Honeybee Conservation Group said thirty hives had been toppled.

Mr Hoskins said: “They pushed over the gazebo, damaging it beyond re-creation. We had that so we had somewhere to work. We’ve got nowhere to operate. We need to study the bees, we’ve got to breed queens. We need a chair to sit on and a bench to work at.”

 

A year on and they have turned the site around quite dramatically and it was amazing to see the hives busy. And here is Ron (above) rehoming our bees at his conservation site

All`s well that ends well.

Many Thanks to:

Darren Quegan – D N Q Scaffolding

Kelvin Jackson – K J Building

Richard Clark – South West Pest Control

Ron Hoskins – Swindon Honeybee Conservation Group