I love the peace and quiet of winter. The snow lies on the ground and it squelches the harsh sound of traffic. Kids are running and laughing as the snow melts on their tongues, and the ground is pure. On the other hand, there is smoke billowing into the air, because many people don’t have their furnaces properly maintained in the fall. There are few people who hire chimney sweeps to take care of the cleaning of their chimneys. I guess people believe that if they don’t have fireplaces, there isn’t a need to have the chimney cleaned. Soot from wood and coal isn’t the only hazard for chimneys. The flue may not be as big for a furnace, and most have some kind of cap on top, but there are all kinds of insects that can get into that chimney. A couple of years ago, we had a swarm of honeybees that decided to make their home in our chimney. I was so sad because I didn’t want the honeybees to be killed, but I didn’t want risk our death because of fumes from the furnace building up. We actually ended up with someone who enticed the bees out of the chimney. We had a chimney professionally clean the chimney, and we able to start up our furnace without causing any harm to the honey bees. I think they are still around, but somehow they have decided to make their home in some abandoned hand made bird nests. I didn’t know it was possible, until we saw the honey dripping to the ground.