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Using a chimney on the hive entrance

Hi all, does anyone have any experience or thoughts on using a vertical hive entrance chimney product like this?

I’ve not contacted the supplier (yet), but from some quick googling, people have indicated an entrance chimney does work, the only consideration I’ve seen was the “undertaker” bees ability to remove dead bees from the hive - not sure how’d that’d work, unless they simply drop the dead bees into the base of the chimney (for the ones that aren’t strong enough to fly/carry the dead bees up and out the top of the chimney).

Another potential challenge I see would be the initial training of your bees to use your local water supply, near the hive (although you could position the water towards to top of the chimney), rather than flying off and seeking water in neighbouring swimming pools etc? I’ve read that when starting a new hive you add sugar to your water source to attract/train them to it, then after a couple of weeks you can stop adding the sugar as they’ll always come back to your source? I assume the bees can smell the sugared water source nearby and would prefer/use that over a non-sugared supplied?

I’m really interested in this sort of arrangement as it would alleviate most of my concerns about managing flights paths and unwanted interactions in/out of the hive due to low or random flight paths. I know I can add screens around the hive to influence flight paths but the chimney seems like a good option to direct the flight path up and out?

Cheers Tony

Hi @budgie ,

I think you overestimate flight path problem. Usual cruising height for workers is about 8-10 metres over ground level. They also try to fly in the most efficient way, that is to say, as straight as possible. In vertical plain it looks like a straight line from hive and over next obstacle. It could be a fence, next property roof or a bush. Screens provide this first obstacle. After the screen they will be climbing further to go over the next one. To make it work all the time you need to have some sort of screen on all sides.
The problem screens do not solve is patrolling guard bees. Particularly when hive was disturbed recently. In my suburban setup hives were separated prom gazebo by dense vegetation from ground to the roof and hives were faced away from gazebo. It never stopped guards “checking” on me when I was entering gazebo. I have never been stung there, but a bee buzzing angrily 20 cm from my face is more than I can bear without veil :slight_smile: I do not think that chimney is going to help in this way either. They will be patrolling surroundings anyway.
I understand you wish to separate bees from your household and daily activities, but I am afraid it is not achievable, and you need to be ready to accept that land within about 3 metres radius around hive is not yours anymore.

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Hi Budgie, that chimney looks a bit overkill to me. I was expecting to see something like some 4"x2" pvc pipe. It looks like it’s telling all the neighbors “look at me, guess what I am” You could do something that’s more discreet, like position your hive with the entrance up close to your house in an out of the way place. In that situation, the bees will fly up & out. That’s what works for me.

You have other issues that can annoy neighbors such as poo on the washing & swarming, which invariably will happen.

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@budgie my understanding is that the chimney has a removable screen, much like that on the hive, that allows a lot of stuff to fall through and can be removed to be cleaned.

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It’s been blowing a gale up here the last few days and it’s interesting seeing the flight path the bees are using when flying east, keeping low and using the landscape as wind breaks as they battle windward either back home or off to work. The things they do for a crust eh?
One of my water sources is 5M from the apiary and when bee lining the bees leaving after a drink very few go back to my hives.
And, I’ll never use an entrance feeder again due to robbing.
I think that covered a few things in a round about way.
:wink:

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