I almost forgot to post this. While on vacation, I spoke with a neighbor who reported that a bear had been tranquilized in my yard, no damage to the hives thank goodness. By the time we got home, the video shot in my yard by news crews had made it onto CNN. Apparently she seemed drunk and everyone thought it was terribly funny, human interest hook, blah blah. Turns out she was sick and was put down.
Point is, there were two news crews filming a cute bear IN MY YARD and none of them saw the hives they were looking straight at (or they likely would've filmed/commented; none of the local coverage mentioned them either!). See the video link if you like... the shot of the bear staggering about ends with a left pan that got edited to fade just as you would have seen two hives in plain sight about 20 feet behind her.
Video of bear
The hives are stained with Behr (no pun intended [img]smile.gif[/img] ) stain called "bayberry", a darkish natural-looking green. In front of my hops, next to lilac bushes, you don't notice them at all. Since I'm in town, on Main Street no less, I did the stain as a neighbor-relations preventative action. The stain was recommended at my club after a few hives got vandalized. Here's a pic with the same garden cart in the foreground as the crews filmed. The hives are a lot shorter now, and there's less foliage around them, but you get the idea.
Just thought I'd share for other urban or stealthy beeks, now that equipment-building season is nearly here.