Removing Wasp Nests and Bee Nests in Chimneys
In the Spring and early Summer there are always problems with bee swarms moving into chimneys. Most people (including PEST UK) would like to remove the bees without killing them. There are problems with this, it would cost thousands of pounds to get a scaffold erected to get near enough to the top of the chimney (if you could get a scaffold company to do this as there are safety issues with working at height whilst being attacked by bees). Even if scaffold was erected there is no guarantee that the bee swarm will be reachable, it may be too deep within the chimney. So apart from the access problems there is also the problem of the nest (wether wasp or bees) blocking the chimney. This can be fatal if there is a gas appliance venting into the chimney. This conflicts with the guidance for treating bees which says that the entry points should be sealed off immediately after treatment to prevent contamination of other bees or even that bees should not be treated if there are bee hives nearby. It is illegal to cover a chimney with a gas appliance venting into it and unless the bees or wasp nest is removed or treated there may be a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Methods of treatment
Removing Wasp Nests and Bee Nests in Chimneys by first treating them with a non residual insecticides such as Cooper Mini Smokes or Permits Uni. These are fast acting insecticides that reduce the risk of contamination of other bee hives. Smoke treatments have the advantage of being used from the inside through the fireplace but have the disadvantage of not working with wasp nests (the nests are enclosed and full penetration of insecticides may be insufficient) or established bee swarms.nests. Where possible the entry points are blocked (not possible in chimneys or where blocking may lead to bees getting into a building). Blocking entry points should never be carried out with wasp nests.
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If tackled from the top of the chimney then the costs, equipment used and risks are all higher. In many cases an attempt will be made to deal with the problem from the base of the chimney but in some cases treating from the top of the chimney is the only option.