This spring I will be getting my first bees. I am going to be getting one established hive and a package to establish a second hive (I'll have questions about the wisdom of this strategy in a later post). I envision this as never being anything more than a hobby so two hives will be plenty. The best place for me to locate these will be approximately 100' from my house and about twice that far from the closest neighbors house however it will be on our shared property line. I've been thinking that it will probably be best for bees, neighbors, and myself if the hives are in an enclosure. The simplest enclosure that won't trash up the yard too much (this is important to me)would be a 6' high chainlink dog run with plastic slats in the chainlink. I can get 6'x6' panels at Home Depot for what I consider to be an acceptable price. Now, the question: would a 6'x6' enclosure give me enough room to work 2 hives? Will a 6'x6'x6' enclosure around the hives interfere with the bees daily activities?
If your yard is not fenced, and you plan to "protect" someone from the hives, you may have a problem. Someone (kids) can walk up to fence and still get stung. Have you talked to your neighbor about your plans for new hives?
My hive is 75+ ft from my property line w/ a thick group of pine trees for a buffer. I would like them farther away.
Dave W . . .
A NewBEE with 1 hive.
First package installed
Talking about it with your neighbors is a very good idea. Usually the promise of a free jar of honey will satisfy most neighbors. If you really are concerned about stinging problems, make sure you get a gentle strain of bee.
Also, check the local ordinances, some cities limit how close the colonies can be to neighboring properties.
It is easier to ask forgivness than permission.
I have five hives in my back yard, one against the side of the house and the other four 25 feet from my back door next to my shop and greenhouse doors. My only problems are with my neighbors who are not very happy with me.
I keep the entrances pointed towards the center of my yard and over my watergarden, beyond that are trees that they have to fly over to leave my yard. Only one neighbor has been stung and that was BEFORE they bought the house.
I would say to point them towards the center of your yard and have something that will make them rise before they leave your yard.
Welcome to beekeeping! IMHO 6X6 is NOT enough space to work two hives. It is best to get your neighbor's buyin and use some kind of barrier high enough to cause the bees to fly higher. I have 5 hives in my yard (about 1 acre) and no one has ever been stung.
matt I've been told by several of my construction buddies not to buy those 6'x6'
fence panels from home depot. that they are junk, and they fall apart in a year or 2... just a heads up..............BB
Siting hives is more than the distance to the house.Bees develope a flight path and will make a "bee line" for the nearest forage or water source.Place your hives so that the flight path is over your own property.Use your fence,or plantings,or existing landscape features to divert them away from your neighbors property.Use your fence to provide a winter windbreak.
Don't forget other siting requirements.I would go for full sun or a southern exsposure for Oregon.Winter windbreak.Water.Avoid low spots.Accesable to a vehicle is also nice.Storage nearby is a plus.
Once you place a hive,its tough to move it to another spot . Choose wisely
A fence (that is enough of an obstruction to the bees) will cause the bees to fly up over the fence and they don't fly back down until they get where they are going. So if you put up a fence that puts the bees over your head then the neighbors won't find themselves in the flight path. That is the purpose of a fence around a bees. Obviously it does not preclude someone getting stung nor getting "checked out" by the bees, but keeps their main path and peoples main path seperated vertically. The fence is a nice idea, but one I never used. I had bees in town, but most of my neighbors never minded it. The only one that ever complained had dumped a bunch of sugar on a table (why? I don't know) and they were collecting it. I only had one hive of buckfasts at the time and my daughter went over showed him that there were four different breeds of bees eating his sugar. There were some darker leather Italians (not mine) some brighter yellow Italians (not mine) some Caucasians (not mine) and then she found a buckfast and put her finger under it and got it to crawl on her finger and said that was one of ours. She also pointed out that they beeline back to their hive and all the others beelined in the oppisite direction of our house. He quit complaining after that, but I always gave all the neighbors honey.
You'll also want to make sure the bees get water where you want them to, not out of the neighbor's birdbath or pool.
I didn't want to get too carried away with details but maybe I should have added a little more, just for clarity. I am on a one acre lot amid other properties that range from 1-80 acres. This is not a city location and is zoned for agriculture and timber production. I am more concerned with being a good neighbor than I am with running afoul of the law. The neighbors that I have spoken to have reacted positively to the idea of having bees in the area. Natural boundaries will most likely prevent anybody but myself from ever even seeing more than the occasional bee. This is the Pacific Northwest, lots of hills, trees and brush. Most houses are on their own little clearings with a buffer of trees and brush between houses. The fence would be used mostly to force the bees to quickly rise above myself and my pets as we all go about our daily activities. It will further serve as a superfluous courtesy to the adjoining neighbor, a good friend. The bees will be comming from a long established local business with a good reputation for selling gentle bees.
I have chosen the particular location because: 1)it is freely accessible by me. 2)it would require my neighbor, or anybody else, to come through a locked gate or a large blackberry thicket to approach it (Africanized killer blackberries, worse than any darn bees!). 3)it is protected from the weather and has a southern exposure. 4)it will not force a flightpath directly toward any nearby houses. 5)it will give the bees a direct flightpath to a large creek ~200' away.
db_land, what would you recommend as minimum working space?
beebarf, thanks for the tip. So far I've just been pricing things over the phone, no hands-on shopping yet. The panels just seem like a good idea because they are so simple and convenient.
Michael Bush, is a 6' fence high enough to get them up and on their way away from people? Six feet will be well over my old bald head. Also, my property is on a creek terrace about 30' higher than any of my closest neighbors houses.
Many books recommend a hive stand, for 2 hives, to be 48" long. The 48" is long enough so that two colonies may be pulled apart during summer. I guess they might be placed closer together.
I have a dog kennel that is 10 x 10 made of 6' chain-link. This looks like an ideal size to me.
During past summer, when I removed supers to check my hive, I placed them about 2' behind and 2' to one side of parent hive. I think that was in an area about 6' x 6'.
I dont have my hive fenced, but knee-high grass and near-by trees, make them leave the entrance and within 2 to 3', they usually accend almost straight up.
Your site description sounds almost "book" perfect
Dave W . . .
A NewBEE with 1 hive.
First package installed
>what would you recommend as minimum working space?
I'd say you need room to lift and set two stacks of baxes next to the hives, so if you are going to have two hives and leave space between them, 6' x 6' sounds like plenty of room.
>is a 6' fence high enough to get them up and on their way away from people? Six feet will be well over my old bald head. Also, my property is on a creek terrace about 30' higher than any of my closest neighbors houses.
I think 6' will work fine, but on an a lot in town I've never bothered with the fence. I did face the hive toward the house (which was three feet away) so they would have to change direction right there. It seemed to work ok. They were six feet from my back porch. After the mean bees I had a couple of years ago, I was glad that they weren't six feet from my back porch, but most bees are nice enough that it's not a problem.
>>It is easier to ask forgivness than permission.
Ha, it is the truth
>>A fence (that is enough of an obstruction to the bees) will cause the bees to fly up over the fence and they don't fly back down until they get where they are going.
A high fence forcing the bees to fly up will help with neighbour relations
I would allow 2-3 feet between the hives and would make the 6X6 panel behind the hives open up (like a gate) to give you room to work and stay out of the flight path.