Keeping Bees Out of the Chimney

Keep bees out of the chimney

Over the past couple weeks we’ve received numerous calls from people about bees that have entered chimneys and come into their homes. They want to know how to keep bees out of the chimney and fireplaces and their homes. Unfortunately, keeping bees out isn’t as simple as putting some screen over the flue. Screen small enough to stop insects will clog with soot and block the chimney, causing smoke and carbon monoxide to travel back down into the house.

How to Keep Bees out of the Chimney

The only safe way to keep bees out of the chimney is to install a top damper.

Top Damper

Unlike traditional dampers that are located just above the firebox, top dampers install on the top of the chimney, blocking off the entire chimney with an air-tight seal. With the top damper closed, not only can bees not get in, but other animals like raccoons, squirrels and birds will be denied entry to your home. Keep the damper closed when the fireplace is not in use and you’ll be bee-free.

Opening the top damper or closing it is easy. No, you don’t have to go on the roof! A cable hangs down through the chimney into the fireplace firebox. There it attaches to a holder on the inside of the firebox. To open or close the top damper, just pull the chain.


A Lyemance top damper is the brand you see pictured above. It also is available with an attached chimney cap. Click here to see our video on how to install a Lymance top damper. Other brands of top dampers that keep bees out of the chimney include Premier and Lock Top.

Bees are potentially more than just a nuisance if they get into your home. For family or friends who are allergic to bee stings, their presence can be life threatening.

A top damper keeps out other flying insects beyond just bees; they prevent wasps, hornets, flies, and yellow-jackets, too, from entering your home through the chimney.

If bees have already established a hive in your chimney, you’ll of course want to get rid of the beehive before installing the top damper. Read our guide on removing bees from your chimney.

Posted in Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance, Safety Tagged with:

Spring Cookouts!

spring cookout

Spring is here and that means warm days and cool nights. What better way to celebrate this lovely weather than spring cookouts with friends and family? Instead of cooking on a grill, why not roast some hot dogs over your fire pit or outdoor fireplace?Roaring fire in an outdoor fireplace or firepit for spring cookouts












There’s something special about a fire that draws people in close. It’s not nearly as much fun to tell jokes and ghost stories while huddled around a gas grill, fire pit or fire bowl. And don’t forget, of course, the s’mores for dessert!

Cooking s'mores on a fire

One way to have your spring cookouts is by adding a cooking fire pit grill to your fire pit.

If you are new to cooking on a fire pit, see these Fire Pit Cooking Tips.

Posted in Using Your Fireplace Tagged with: ,

Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day! Celebrate Pi Day on March 14.

What is Pi Day?

Pi Day is the annual celebration of the mathematical constant pi, represented by the following symbol:

Pi Day

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th because 3.14 are the first three digits of pi. March 14 just happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday, too.

Although the concept of pi is over 4000 years old, the Greek letter pi was first used to represent the concept in 1706.

Celebrate Pi Day by giving a special nod to all things round, since pi represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pie is obviously the choice of food to celebrate the day.

Among the round things to enjoy this Pi Day include the following:
Mosiac Tile Outdoor FireplaceThis wrought iron and stainless steel outdoor fireplace has a diameter of 45 inches, making its circumference 45π, or 141.4 inches. It features a mosaic tile edge, which makes a great shelf for drinks, snacks, and calculators.

Custom Round Fireplace GrateThese heavy duty circular grates can be custom made to any diameter larger than 12 inches. So if you need a circular fireplace grate with a circumference greater than 38 inches, or an area greater than 113 square inches, this is the grate for you!

Happy Pi Day!

Posted in General, Holidays Tagged with:

5 Classic Mantel Decorations

Looking for inspirations for classic fireplace mantel decorations? Whether an elegant symmetrical display or an informal and fun asymmetrical display, these five classical elements are ideal foundations for fireplace mantel arrangements. Plus, we’ll give  you tips on how to put your own spin on these classic elements.

Classic Fireplace Mantel Decorations #1: Framed Photos

Family photos on the mantel

The mantel is the perfect place to display those family memories. Get your favorite digital photos printed and put them in nice frames.



Classic Fireplace Mantel Decorations #2: Candles

candles classic fireplace mantel decorations

Scented, unscented, tall and thin, short and round, candles come in thousands of varieties. Stagger the heights on your mantel to give your decoration some depth.


  • Votive candles mix well among other elements in a fireplace mantel display.
  • Select candles in colors that contrast with the wall behind them to make them pop. Candles the same color as the wall tend to disappear.
  • Be guided by the color scheme of the room when selecting candles. If you are using blue and green as your accent colors, go with blue and green candles in the same tones.
  • Vary the heights of your candles and or candle holders.
  • Non-flame candles are a safer bet. They are available in battery and plug-in versions.

    Flameless battery and plug in candles for fireplace mantel decorations

    Flameless battery candles and plug in candles for fireplace mantel decorations

Classic Fireplace Mantel Decorations #3: Shells and Coral

Shells and Coral make for a beach-themed decoration

Longtime favorites for those on the coast, shells and coral give fireplace hearths a warm, summer feel. Bring home some treasures from your next beach vacation to display on your mantel.


Classic Fireplace Mantel Decorations #4: Fruit

Use fruit for a colorful and tasty decoration

Not only is fruit delicious and healthy, it’s also colorful! Experiment with apples, oranges, pomegranate, pears, cranberries, etc. Pick fruits you like to eat so you’ll be tempted to grab a bite as you walk past.


  • Stick with in-season fruit that does not need refrigerated.
  • Wash the fruit before placing it on the mantel so it is ready to eat.
  • Summer in-season fruits include apricots, peaches, cherries and plums.
  • Fall fruits include almonds, apples, Asian pears, dates, kiwi and pomegranates.
  • Winter’s in-season fruits include avocados, grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges.
  • Spring fruits include cherries, kumquats, mandarines, pineapples and rhubarb.
  • If you need a more formal and classic look, white ceramic fruit including apples and pears work well.

    White ceramic fruit including apples and pears are a more formal look than fresh fruit.

    White ceramic fruit including apples and pears are a more formal look than fresh fruit.

Classic Fireplace Mantel Decorations #5: Driftwood

Get a coastal themed mantel with driftwood

via karen dale


Another favorite for coastal-themed fireplaces. A long, gnarled piece of driftwood combined with some seashells and ivory candles will make for a light, beachy fireplace mantel.


  • In the summer, you can also fill the firebox (where the fire wood be in winter) with driftwood.
  • If you can’t pick up your own pieces of driftwood on the beach, you can purchase suitable driftwood branches.





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