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Bees in chimney?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by dusty_, Apr 17, 2010.

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  1. dusty_

    dusty_ Member

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    Today I noticed a couple of yellow jacket bees in the Master bedroom where I have a small woodstove installed. I can't figure out how they got in. I'm wondering if they could possibly be coming down through the chimney (or making a nest there!)? Groan! If so, what's the best way to handle this? I thought of starting a fire but then I was afraid it might start a chimney fire if there happens to be a nest in there. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    While we're on the topic if it turns out they're not coming down the chimney (or making a nest in it) is there any way to prevent this from happening in the first place?

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  2. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    There not coming from the chimney! ;-)

    There coming from the page in your stove manual where tells you your not allowed to install a wood stove in your bedroom!
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Light off a half dozen pieces of newspaper in the stove and they will get the idea.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    As to "not coming down the chimney". Two years ago I was suddenly under siege in my basement office from African hornets. Huge suckers. I found that they were entering a chink in the mortar in my exterior masonry chimney and somehow working their way into the basement. Two can's of hornet spray into the hole in the bricks and another week of having the big bastards flop in my lap and they were gone.

    It was not fun down there for a while.
  5. dusty_

    dusty_ Member

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    What??? Are you kidding me? How could a company sell me a stove, install it in my bedroom, put up a stone wall behind it and not say a thing to me about that? I asked if I needed a building permit or something and they said no, it wasn't changing the structure of the house at all so no permit was needed. Oh man! This is horrible. I just can't believe this could happen. Thanks for the reply though. Even though it's not what I wanted to hear it's definitely something I SHOULD hear. I think I'll go curl up in a ball in the corner for tonight and deal with it tomorrow. Man, no one I talked to ever mentioned that to me before! I guess I'm looking for someone else to blame but it lands back in my lap no matter what. I should have done more research. Wish I could turn back the clock. Thanks for the warning.
  6. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    maybe a little smoked honey
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Every stove manual I have seen for the last ten years says "Not to be installed in a sleeping area.". Save the sarcasm for the bees.
  8. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    Do building codes apply in your area? Some areas there really are no codes.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Building codes don't matter. It is on page sixteen of his stove manual.

    "WARNING! DO NOT INSTALL IN SLEEPING ROOM."
  10. dusty_

    dusty_ Member

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    Well, I curled up in a ball in the corner but couldn't stop thinking about it so I dug out the manual. You're right. On page 16 it does say "Do Not Install In Sleeping Room". However, it's a bit misleading because it's in the section for "Mobile Home Installation" which most people would bypass - unless they were installing their stove in a mobile home.

    That's not to say it's safe in a bedroom that's in a house - it's just annoying that it's not more clearly stated. However, I totally relied on the store doing the installation to be looking out for my interests and I see now that was naive on my part (man I'm learning!). I should have read the manual before installation and looked into the bylaws and building codes for myself.

    I went online to see if our bylaws and building codes here in Canada had any information but it seems a bit hazy so I'll call them Monday morning. Bottom line is I want to be alive to tell the story! It's just very upsetting to realize the money spent and all the trouble (you wouldn't believe!) I've gone through to have this thing installed and then find out it's illegal or worse "unsafe" is pretty upsetting! I'm just about to put my house up for sale too so this is a real headache! I'll have to solve this before I can sell now.

    Anyway, thank you all for your comments and I'll certainly keep them in mind in the days ahead. I think this forum is amazing. Such knowlegable people willing to help anyone who comes calling! Thank you so much!
  11. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Several years ago, I had yellow jackets nesting inside a chink in the mortar outside the casing of my basement door. Spraying the hole just seemed to make them mad, so we just kinda quietly went in and out and we never had a problem. One day we were bring in camping gear and my wife got stuck in the doorway for too long. They swarmed on her, stinging her in the face several times. I got serious at that point. I got several cans of the stuff that telephone and power linesmen use and started blasting away. When all the ones guarding the nest stopped buzzing around, I homed in with a fresh can and got a direct shot right down the hole. Then I took a wood dowel the right size and drove it tight into the hole. End of story... or so I thought.

    Next morning, my basement was covered with dead and dying yellow jackets. The nest was, apparently, not in the cement block at all, but somewhere in the interior wall right inside of the door. When the show was over, I swept up the remains and that was the end of the story... or so I thought.

    About a week later, I started to pick up a bad odor, like a dead animal, only worse. I keep my garbage can outside that door, so I took it and gave it a good cleaning. Next day... worse smell. It took me several days to realize that a yellow jacket nest is like a giant organism, and that I had just killed that organism and it was rotting away inside my wall. Unfortunately, it took several months for the smell to quiet down and it wasn't until the following year that I stopped picking up faint traces of that stench on rainy days. Musta been a whole butt load of bees in that wall.

    As far as the the bees in the bedroom, if you have a bathroom in there, check the venting out as well. We've had yellow jackets nest in there as well. Run the fan while spraying bug spray up there. The fan will pull the spray up to the nest. End of story... :roll:
  12. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I had a nest in the outside wall (had one under a door sill in a block foundation, too) and if I got them all I was also told it would be best to take the wall apart to confrim the demise of the nest , to remove the honey and combs because they will also attract mice and other vermin.



    Bees (other winged creatures in general) aren't supposed to have a habit of going into chimneys because of the toxic fumes on the interior walls.
    I've had tiny ants living in the mortar of a oil burner chimney,though, so bees finding at least an entrance to where they could construct some combs in a wall cavity isn't too surprising.
  13. dusty_

    dusty_ Member

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    Oh man, now I really don't feel good! That's all I need - yellow jackets in the walls! I hope I'm wrong and they just got in though a crack in the window seal or something but my gut tells me that's not the case. I'll definitely spray up the bathroom fan in there. They're pretty nasty things aren't they? Right now they're a bit dopey because it still gets below zero at night time. I swear to *@^ if I ever get this house sold I'll never buy another! Renting is the route for me! Someone else can have all the headaches along with the rent cheque! Thanks for the posts.
  14. SKIN052

    SKIN052 Minister of Fire

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    Smokestack, if I were you and had a company install a stove for me in a way that was, unsafe, I would be driving my truck through the front doors right now. You maybe should have know better but if you are anything like me, i don't mind doing a bit of hard labor but when it comes to things I don't know jack about I hire a pro. I hire them for their knowledge mostly. Same reason I am getting a pro to install my stove a chimney. I could do the work myself, easy, but I would constantly be thinking in the back of my mind, "did I do it right?" You got ripped off. Talk to manager and talk to your local permit office. Going to be hard to sell a place with a unsafe stove in the house. Maybe turn the room into a office?
  15. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    True dat, but it sounds like most folks here are not having problems with bees. They are having problems with wasps, yellow jackets and hornets which behave differently than bees, particularly honeybees. Honeybees start gorging on honey when they smell smoke in preparation for a possible need to quickly move the hive. This makes them passive. Yellow jackets and hornets don't have the reserve stores of honey to gorge on and tend to go into attack mode when they perceive an outside threat.
  17. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I had yellow jackets in the stack of the potbelly we had in the cabin. I fondly remember how the buzzing slowly went away as the fire got hotter and hotter.

    I miss that old stove. Too bad it rotted out.

    Matt
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I had an old Mecco grill for years. Didn't use it for two years or so and it just sat on the breezeway. Opened it one day and got covered in a swarm of yellow jackets that stung me from head to foot and got inside my coveralls. Man that hurt. A few nights later I went out there and unloaded a can of hornet spray into the air intake hole and closed it. Three or four days later I opened the lid and the entire grill was covered top and bottom with the nest. Two feet square.
  19. dusty_

    dusty_ Member

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    That's an interesting idea skin052 - turning it into an office or something. I'm so mad at the stove company too. You're right - I really feel ripped off and I'm not sure what I'll do yet. My heads kind of reeling about the whole thing right now - yellow jackets possibly in the walls and a very expensive wood stove instal that's burnt toast! Hmm, if I lose a bedroom though it would probably bring the sale value of the house down. I guess I should consult with a real estate agent about that one. I'm just crossing my fingers those two yellow jackets don't indicate a wall nest! That's bothering me more than the wood stove problem I think! Thanks for the post.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Don't get too excited just yet. May Ontario code allows stoves in a bedroom with and outside air intake.
  21. dusty_

    dusty_ Member

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    Thanks BrotherBart. I'll keep you posted. No matter what happens I'll never have a fire in that stove burning while I'm asleep! Nor will I have a woodstove in the bedroom of my next place!
  22. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Ahhh- have you considered that they're simply hitch hiking in on your wood? According to your original post, you have only seen a few so far? I know for a fact that we have some sort of local 'bee' around here which likes to hibernate in my wood stacks. I'm talking solitary 'bees' here. They look somewhat like yellow jackets, but are definitely not yellow jackets. They have abdominal stripes, but much more muted, not bright yellow. Some sort of hornet, I imagine. Noticeably bigger than yellow jackets, but not 'huge', just bigger. Anyway, I kept encountering solitary 'bees' in the house from time to time this past winter. They would usually be pretty groggy, and usually the cat noticed them first and was stalking them. I caught them in a glass jar and placed them gently back in a woodpile outside. The important thing is I was definitely coming across solitary specimens outside in the woodpile, time after time. I am pretty darned sure that's how they came to be in my house. At least I hope I don't have a darned nest somewhere. Yikes! Perish the thought. :bug:
  23. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    i've had the same thing happen here. so when i transfer my wood from the rack to the garage i throw the split into the wheel barrel to get off any hitch hikers and some dirt and the like.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I've had some nasty hornets hitchhike in on splits. One stung me as I was loading the cart. Now I check for the buggers and be sure I have my gloves on.
  25. dusty_

    dusty_ Member

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    Thanks Cluttermagnet & fbelec. Those two comments are very encouraging! That is a possibility because I did bring in a big log from outside around the same time as I saw them. They were pretty groggy alright. As a matter of fact I brought one of them outside and lay him on the edge of the porch and I just went out to move the garbage can tonight and he's still sitting there! Must be still in hybernation mode. The nights are still cold here (+ or - 0 celsius) but the days are pretty nice (10 - 15 celsius). Anyway, thanks for the encouragement and I sure hope you're right!
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