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Bees in chimney

I have a chimney that gets used every winter t burn coal, and suddenly there are lots of bees falling down it. Sometimes, from the garden, I can see a few of them flying around the chimney pots. These are black bees that sort of look half way between a honey bee and a bumble bee. Are they the African bees introduced to the UK a few years ago to help boos falling populations?

Anyway, assuming they've made a hive either in or close to my chimney, are they likely to leave at the end of the year and not come back? Do they leave eggs in the hive that will turn into bees and leave next year or anything?

I don't want to harm them, but I will need to light fires again in the winter. I tried burning some paper several times to cause smoke. There's no problem with the smoke going up, so the chimney isn't blocked, but it hasn't scared them off.


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 35,520

    Hi Tomsk. I would try contacting a local bee keeper to get some advice.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    sounds like tree bumblebees, they like high up places they might be in your roof space if there's a gap near the chimney. they're usually fairly docile you could have a look, if you don't want to risk it have a look from the outside with a pair of binoculars to see where they are going in.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,875

    if they're tree bumble bees they will have cleared off by the end of summer

    Honey bees are more of a long term project

  • Niknak2Niknak2 Posts: 20

    I had this at my last house. You need to identify the bee to see if it will come back or not.

    Advice from a local bee keeper was exercise caution as if the nest is in the chimney there may well ve highly flammable & combustible material left behind! Luckily for me it was not a chimney that was used, but please investigate before lighting!

  • Gillian53Gillian53 Posts: 112

    Bumblebee Conservation told me that our completely black bee was a Hairy footed flower bee which is a solitary bee seen at this time of year. Also tell me these bees come down chimneys because they nest in the soft mortar of the chimney stacks. BBCT have plenty of info regarding bee ID

    Last edited: 15 May 2016 18:10:03

  • TomskTomsk Posts: 204

    Thanks for the replies. I was going to try to take a photo of them but none have come down the chimney for the last couple of days. I did hear one buzzing inside it, but it must have gone back up and out rather than down into the living room.

    There are also no flowers in bloom in my garden at the moment. The last of the tulips died and it's too early for the lilies, dahlias and gladioli.

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