Buzz about a chimney

A beehive discovered during council building renovations in Kyneton was safely relocated in a 12-hour operation last week.
Bee Removals Victoria was called in to remove the hive that had formed in the chimney of the Mollison Street building and measured one and a half metres tall.
“It was a decent-sized hive in an awkward location and a really strong hive with 80,000 odd bees, even for this time of year when it is shrinking for winter,” a BRV spokesperson said.
The Mount Macedon-based business has become known for its expertise in extracting bees from unusual and difficult locations, through a careful and methodical process.
“If you rush it you risk killing the hive,” they explained.
The hive was removed in two stages across 12 hours involving carefully removing the bricks to expose the hive and using a gentle vacuum box to collect the bees.
It also required cutting away comb to feed it into a new frame and catching the queen to ensure the hive’s success.
The relocation last week was one of 15 chimney rescues Bee Removals Victoria has performed in this season alone.
“It’s surprising how often you get bees in chimneys because people never think to check the capping. Capping breaks up over time and gives the perfect little hole for bees to come and start making a hive,” a spokesperson explained.
Council’s director of assets and operations Phil Stone said the hive was discovered when repairs to the roof of the building began following the discovery of a leak near the chimney.
Mr Stone said the hive needed to be removed to facilitate the repair work. He said no staff were stung or injured and no bees had entered the building.
“The building is currently used for staff offices. Staff have been temporarily relocated to other areas of the Kyneton offices while the repairs take place,” he said.
Bee Removals Victoria praised the council for its efforts in ensuring safe removal of the bees.
“There are still some councils that kill bees but we’re working with bee clubs and others to try and stop that. Macedon Ranges has been great, they call us and we remove the bees to relocate. The great thing is that more and more councils are choosing to do this,” they said.
The rescued bees are expected to remain in quarantine until the end of winter.

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