5/20/16

At Home with Honeybees (AKA: Bees in our chimney?!)


I love Burt's Bees. I love beeswax candles. And I love me some honey... especially slurped out of those honey straws from the farmers' market or brewed into a refreshing Kolsch beer.

But I'm a fraidy-cat when it comes to the little buzzers that make honey: the honeybees. I'm embarrassingly afraid. Not embarrassed myself, but bound to embarrass any friends or family standing nearby. Like, flapping-my-arms and running-away, embarrassingly afraid. I know, I know... flapping your arms can make bees upset or afraid, resulting in a sting. And that's why I'm afraid. I'm afraid of being stung. It's a fear of the unknown because I've never been stung. I'm afraid of the pain. I'm afraid of turning out to be allergic. And I'm afraid of watching the bee die because it stung me. Ugh.

So anyway, long story short: For a few weeks, we've been trying to figure out how honeybees are getting in. But now we've seen it with our own eyes. The bees are coming down the chimney and into my office via small openings around the woodburner. We went outside and looked at the chimney. Lo and behold! A bunch of bees swarming around the chimney top!

Packaging tape? Check! Electrical tape? Check! Masking tape? Check!
Sometimes I put my creativity to use for more practical purposes. ;)

Hopefully they're isolated to the chimney... not in the walls or foundation. As a kid, I watched too many cheap horror flicks on the Sci-Fi channel and all the bees-in-the-woodwork-coming-out-the-drains films have been flashing in my mind lately. I'm pretty sure I'd have a complete breakdown if thousands of bees swarmed my house. I'd never fully recover.

Honeybees making honey, that's a good thing. But building their hives in a chimney is a terrible thing. The honey can draw other insects – yuck. More bees will inevitably get into our living space – ugh. And beeswax is flammable, which is not something we want in the chimney come colder months when we actually need to burn wood for warmth – oh no!

I'm still figuring out how I want my office set up and mantle decorated.
The tape will definitely not be staying. Haha.

I industriously sealed up every crack, crevice, and seam of the woodburner with a combination of packaging, electrical, and masking tape. No more bees are getting into my office right now, but I can hear them in there. They're bumbling and buzzing – angry that they can't escape out into my office. It sounds like some have even tried to chew or burrow through the tape. I'll be really impressed/horrified if one does get through.

Today, I went even more crazy... and reeeeeally sealed up the fireplace. Can you tell I'm afraid?

Unfortunately, since they're honeybees... we're a bit limited for options. (Save the honeybees, ya'll!) Pest companies won't exterminate them – and truly, I'm sympathetic with their reasoning. But beekeepers aren't exactly interested in luring the bees out from a chimney that's 30 feet in the air either. :( We're in a pickle.

A beekeeper told us to try smoking them out. So yesterday and today, we've built a few tiny fires and stood outside watching smoke and a few bees drift out of the chimney. I expected a swarm to evacuate, but no such luck. Either they're bunkering down with the queen, or they actually never set up shop in the first place. The only way to tell is wait and see if any more come down into the house.

A cozy little fire in May... for smoking out honeybees.

So while I don't want to share my home with honeybees... here's some honeybee decor to atone for the handful of accidental honeybee fatalities. 


1. Vintage style, French words, and the bee in all its 
glory come together in this pillow cover. (Etsy)

2. You can sip your honey-sweetened 
tea from this lovely bee mug. (Amara)

3. I'd rather have framed honeybees on 
the wall than real ones. (One Kings Lane)

4. Okay, so this bee trinket box is kinda 
adorable and perfect for rings! (Amara)

5. And I might be slightly smitten with these 
golden bee drawer knobs. (Sass & Belle)

6. The honeybees trying to move in would 
appreciate this wall plaque. (Bliss Home Design)

7. These salt and pepper shakers 
are the bees' knees. (Amazon)

8. Owning a Fornasetti plate is on my 
decor bucket list – this one would do! (Barneys)

9. This gold leather notebook is bee-autiful. (Amara)

Wish us luck in being bee-free soon!

Have any of you ever had your home or apartment invaded by honeybees... or something worse?

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