Bees – off!

Some of my longer-term readers may remember that I had bees in my chimney stack. This had turned into a tricky problem, with quotes of £4,000+ to remove them and reseal the chimney. It wasn’t even my fault (honestly!!) as when the swarm first moved in my own bees were based around four miles away. The bees just found me.

Well, I found a solution! I joined a Facebook group called UK Bee Removers. Where I then noticed a lady called Molly from Bees Off based in Cornwall. I’m so pleased to have found someone local, who could do the whole job for us. She organised all the scaffolding and rehomed the bees in her own apiary based in central Cornwall. She then resealed the tiny crack in the chimney stack where the bees had got in, so that it won’t happen again.

Molly from Bees Off

Molly from Bees Off

Molly from Bees Off

She’s also got a cracking sense of humour and was very patient with all Tommy’s (many!) questions – “Why do you have a ladder?” “What are you doing up there?” “Where are the bees going?”. She showed him how he glowed red with her heat sensor, which she uses to determine exactly where the bees are in the chimney. She also uses a special honey bee vacuum, putting the sucked up bees back onto their comb (rubber banded into frames in a nuc) part way through. 

She said this was a whopper of a colony with combs hanging down around four feet, they’d been really thriving up there!  Was a shame to kick them out in a way but I did want to use my fire again! 

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper who has recently moved from London to windswept, wet Cornwall. I first started keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary in 2008, when I created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully! - future successes.
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10 Responses to Bees – off!

  1. Very interesting and great photos. Well done Tommy for good questions. As a teacher for 30 years I always found the saying ‘Intelligence is not the answers you know but the questions you ask’ to be true.

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  2. disperser says:

    Excellent news!

    . . . did you get to keep the honey?

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  3. Congratulations to Molly! She has got a system all worked out. I do not know anyone over here who could do such a good job. It is really regarded as a hopeless case, especially if it is a well established colony. Well done to you too for persevering and finding someone capable. It must have been fascinating to watch. Enjoy your winter fire. Amelia

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  4. thelivesofk says:

    Dear Emily,
    Yours was a wonderful adventure and thanks for sharing the story. It’s so encouraging when one comes across other helpful fellow beekeepers. Here we are blessed with a few good friends who are beekeepers and are always happy to give a helping hand or lend equipment. During the Spring of this year so often , I had to borrow apare hives or nucks to house the 19 swarms that came, all within a few metres of our 5 hives in the bottom of the garden. We have promised ourselves, no more beehives, so we shared the swarms with friends that had lost colonies.
    I wish you, Tommy and your husband all the best and happy beekeeping. – Kourosh

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  5. That’s a fascinating story with a good outcome! Amazing that you found someone local to do such an awkward job.

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  6. humble833 says:

    Amazing story. I might have been tempted to light a fire to get rid of the bees, albeit with the consequences of having honey and wax running down into the fire. 🙂

    Like

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