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Is it possible to encourage bees to leave by themselves?

  • 01-11-2017 6:26pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,256 ✭✭✭


    I'm having a bit on an issue with bees in a chimney pot, and am wondering if I can resolve the problem without hurting them.

    We have a few disused chimney pots capped off with lead caps, to keep the rain out and to discourage the starlings from nesting in them.
    Towards the end of the summer, we started noticing more bees then usual appearing around the house, and we eventually traced their source back to one of the disused fireplaces.
    This fireplace has now been (mostly!) blanked off so the throughput of bees has slowed to a trickle, but we still need to do something about the origin of the problem.

    I finally got a cherrypicker in today and got to lift the lead cap off the chimney pot in question:
    432406.jpg

    It appears that a triangular piece broke off the lip of the pot at some point, leaving a beautiful covered entrance for the bees!
    As you can see, they've certainly set up home.

    We're happy enough to leave them alone for the winter, but is there anything I can do next year when they're becoming active again, to encourage them to abandon this home and go off and establish another one somewhere else?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,603 ✭✭✭victor8600


    Hi Melodeon,

    thank you for the good description and the photo. It looks like these bees found a nice designer home!

    To remove them, the usual course of action is to get in touch with one of the local beekeepers who is familiar with working on heights. The beekeeper then would probably put a proper hive besides the chimney, move as much comb into it as possible and probably leave the hive for a day for bees to relocate into the hive. After that the hive could be moved away. 
    The facebook group "Beekeepers of Ireland" has at least one of those brave beekeepers who can scale roofs. You could also contact your local association: http://www.irishbeekeeping.ie/index.php/find-an-association/leinster


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,256 ✭✭✭Melodeon


    Thanks for the pointers, I'll follow them up over the winter so we can be all set up for the grand eviction next spring/summer. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 868 ✭✭✭brianmc


    Melodeon wrote: »
    Thanks for the pointers, I'll follow them up over the winter so we can be all set up for the grand eviction next spring/summer. :)

    A word of warning...

    If the colony is strong enough to make it through the winter, the colony will build up fast in the spring time. Likely you will end up with comb and bees extending quite far down into that pot and potentially the flue of the chimney. At that point, getting them out may be a destructive process that will require a builder to come and patch up again afterwards.

    In fact what we can see in the photo might already only be the tip of the iceberg.

    Make contact with someone now to plan what you are going to do with them.

    I'll send you a PM with a contact number to get you started... you might have to get recommendations of somebody more local and start making calls or this guy might be able to help.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,256 ✭✭✭Melodeon


    brianmc wrote: »
    A word of warning...

    If the colony is strong enough to make it through the winter, the colony will build up fast in the spring time. Likely you will end up with comb and bees extending quite far down into that pot and potentially the flue of the chimney. At that point, getting them out may be a destructive process that will require a builder to come and patch up again afterwards.

    In fact what we can see in the photo might already only be the tip of the iceberg.

    Make contact with someone now to plan what you are going to do with them.

    I'll send you a PM with a contact number to get you started... you might have to get recommendations of somebody more local and start making calls or this guy might be able to help.

    Thanks for the good advice and the PM.
    I'll follow up on that and we'll have a plan in place before they get going again next year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 330 ✭✭solargain


    where are you based


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