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Oh, FFS - bees! Help!

(13 Posts)
Thurlow Mon 01-Apr-13 21:08:01

Now! In what still feels like the middle of winter! I'm so annoyed.

So last year, our first summer in this house, we appeared to have masonry bees (at least I think they are masonry bees, I kept seeing them fly into the outside wall, and there's no nest in the attic) who kept making their way down the chimneys. We have a fireplace in both the living room and dining room, both apparently open, so about 6-8 dozy bees a day would fall down the chimneys and stagger around the house until we scooped them up and put them outside.

Our first bee has just divebombed down into the living room.

This year we now have a newly toddling little person who will undoubtedly sit on, kneel on or eat the bees when they appear, and if its anything like last year they are dozy enough to be caught occasionally.

Does anyone know what we can do? If I remember right from random Googling last year they're not the kind of bees a beekeeper will take, so I assume our only way is to seal the fireplaces - which we won't ever use - right above the fireplace. I'd rather it was something a bit solid than just ramming the gap with netting or fabric, because then I imagine we'll just end up sitting here listening to the bugger buzzing sadly away...

flow4 Mon 01-Apr-13 21:45:51

There's a discussion here that might give you some ideas... Or you could post your own question...?
www.bbka.org.uk/members/forum.php?t=2740&pg=0

Swimbikerun Mon 01-Apr-13 21:52:13

We had bees in a property we bought last year. Loads of them were appearing every day and bumbling around. Eventually, after much searching I found a little tube in the bottom of a door (goodness knows what it was for) and they were coming in through that. I pushed a bit of paper into the tube to block it, and that was the end of that! I felt very lucky. I hope they aren't hiding somewhere else ready to make an appearance.

Any chance you have something similar? I think it is a blocking up the entrance thing though. Nest in the chimney maybe? Or in roof where hey could access both chimneys from inside?

Thurlow Mon 01-Apr-13 22:19:57

Thanks flow, I'll have a look at that.

I don't think there is a nest anywhere because they were clearly flying in to the masonry in lots of different places over a large wall, and we couldn't hear a lot of buzzing that would suggest a nest. But we'll have a good look.

I'd forgotten what it was like last summer, listening out for the tell tale sleepy buzz... Balls to them being back sad

GrendelsMum Mon 01-Apr-13 22:29:47

I think a chimney balloon or similar might be the easiest solution, if they are masonry bees, and it will also make a big difference to how drafty your rooms are.

Having said that, around the pipes for our wood burning stove our chimney is blocked up with some kind of fire proof board, which would probably do the job.

Thurlow Tue 02-Apr-13 10:31:26

Oh, Grendelsmum, that's it! That's the kind of thing I was looking for! THANK YOU! The living room is bloody freezing as well, so it might help. I'll order some and see if they help.

It's hard to look for a nest as we're in a terrace so I'm actually quite confused how they get into the fireplace the other side of the house from where we can see them in the mortar. I must remember to ask the neighbours if they have any at all.

I'll have a good look at the BBKA site too though - I suspect we might need to do something at the end of this summer to stop them coming back next summer.

Thanks MN. I luffs you grin

TreeLuLa Tue 02-Apr-13 10:36:13

If they are Masonry bees, then they don't sting.

But I think the chimney balloon is a really good idea if you don't use the chimneys.

Thurlow Tue 02-Apr-13 10:44:20

Yes, they haven't stung or been threatening at all, though they are disconcerting when they just whump down in to the room. If it was just me and DP I wouldn't mind too much, but I think DD is of the age where she will just eat them. They'll look like large furry raisins after all, and our living room floor is normally littered with raisins anyway!

flow4 Tue 02-Apr-13 21:09:43

What's a chimney balloon?!
What with all this talk of bees, I'm getting images of Winnie the Pooh !
"Isn't it funny that the bear likes honey. Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. I wonder why he does."

Thurlow Tue 02-Apr-13 21:12:25

It is, literally, a balloon you inflate to fill your chimney breast. It looks sodding awesome, to be frank. I am ordering some tomorrow.

I may or may not draw a smiley face on it before inflating it...

flow4 Tue 02-Apr-13 21:39:17

I've just Googled them... Don't they pop?!

FishfingersAreOK Tue 02-Apr-13 21:56:51

My chimney sweep said to save your money and stuff a carrier bag with newspaper and shove that up -exactly the same result, zero result. He also said whatever you use make sure you tie it down somehow so now draught sucks it up the chimney so you cannot retrieve it in the event you do want to use it.

flow4 Tue 02-Apr-13 22:15:45

Clever!

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