It's never easy getting onto a roof or working at heights when you're surrounded by thousands of bees in 35+ degree weather. And its always best to setup properly for safety, especially when you know you will be working there for a few days.
We started out by giving the bees a few gentle puffs of smoke at their entrance before gingerly lifting the chimney cover over their hive.
When a hive is fully exposed for the first time you never know what you're going to see. In this instance the bees were calm and active. It was a strong hive that extended 1.5 meters down the chimney.
Slowly and gently we cut the comb from the sides of the chimney. We designed special extension tools to reach down within the chimney and support the cut comb so that it wouldn't drop to the bottom of the chimney.
After finally removing the comb and relocating it into their new hive boxes we were left with thousands of bees inside the chimney, with even more returning from foraging, looking for their home.
Thankfully, if you don't make it too hard for the bees, they're great at sorting themselves out. Two nights later most of the of bees were in their new hive. A chimney sweep could safely dance and sing once again!
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