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  1. #121
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Greetings,

    However important this issue, it's certianly not a new one. The same kind of complaint occured in Colorado last year. The city reached the same conclusion with some very reasonable stipulations concerning lot size, number of hives, distance from property boundaries, and elevated flight paths. Did I remember correctly?

    It was a solution that any prudent beekeeper could live with and should insure no real increased impact on the bee fearing neighbors.

    Well, I've got to go now and get that load of pigs. You see, I live on a 1/4 acre lot in the center of town and have secretely kept a little pig in the back yard. It has been such a wonderful experience that I plan to put a half dozen big sows back there. The sights, sounds and smells take me back to my agricultural roots.

    Regards
    topbarguy

    Who will soon will be bringing home the bacon and thinking there's nothing like the squeeeeel of a pig at midnite to sooth a suburban heart. :> )))

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
    Posts
    329

    Post

    "I think there needs to be some common sense on both sides. It's quite possible to keep non agressive breeds, open the hive only when conditions are not likely to cause problems, provide barriers to encourage a high flight path above the neighbors property. Just as the alergic homeowner can choose flowers that don't attract bees, wasps, etc. And they can avoid other attractants, stagnant water, open containers of pop and trash cans (yellow jackets love these.)"


    Not to mention the fact that the neighbors could bring in their bees, make things as reasonable as possible, and see how their hobby affects the flowergirl. Then they should be allowed the opportunity to make any modifications to their setup to minimize the effect on the neighborhood. Flowergirl should also do some research as to which flowers on her property attract bees, and should put these on her hit-list should the bees become a problem in her yard. Let's see how things go before we talk about bulldozing a yard or keeping a hobby at a distance, all to soothe the qualms of a woman who doesn't even know what the effect of a hive or two would be on her lifestyle.

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,102

    Post

    As someone who had bees in town for 24 years I'd have to say almost none of my neighbors ever notices. Usually the first indication they got was when I gave them some honey. By that time I'd always had them there for most of a year and they realized that they hadn't noticed them yet.

    Only once in all that time did anyone complain, as I explained before, and it was obvious that 9 of the 10 bees he was complaining about were the wrong color and flying the wrong direction to be mine. Once he realized that, he was ok with it also.

    In all cases there was no noticable increase in the bees foraging the area. I had as few as one and as many as four hives in town. I think if I had more than that they might start to notice more bees and I wouldn't want to make any of them nervous so I wouldn't have more than that. I don't think that more hives than that would increase their chance of being stung, but it would increase the chance they would notice an increase in bees and that might make some of them nervous.

    Of course we beekeepers have realized that bees are very single minded. Whatever they are intent upon is their focus and it takes a lot to get them to shift into defensive mode from that mode.

    A forager is intent on getting pollen or nectar and could care less about anyone or anything else. A water hauler just wants to get their water and go home. Even the bees in the hive are really only interested in continuing their duties, which is why we can open a hive and not worry about all the bees trying to sting us. But there are SOME bees IN the hive that have the job of gaurding. If they sense a problem and give off the right pheromone they can recruit others to help with the defence. This is really where you notice a hot hive or not is in the amount and speed with which they can recruit others to defend their home. Even foragers from a hot hive are not agressive when they are foraging.

    When I extract, once a year, in my kitchen there are anywhere from 20 to 200 bees flying around. In 30 years none of those flying bees has stung anyone in my house. None of us are wearing any protection. These bees are focused on getting home. Not on defending anything. So while they may appear, to the untrained eye, to be frantic, they are not frantic to hurt anyone, but just frantic to escape.

    So when we beekeepers have trouble understanding whey people feel threatened, it is not because we don't mind getting stung. I don't like getting stung at all. But because other than opening the hive, bees never try to sting us and I often (once a year) have hundreds flying around my kitchen and none of them have ever stung me nor even tried to sting me.

    The one exception of bees somewhere other than the hive trying to sting is when I had some AHB (Africanized Honey Bees) and I had alarm pheromone all over me (the bees marked me) from opening the hives and they would sting me quite a ways from the hive. But even then the other 9 people living with me were never stung by these viscious bees. They were only after me. I requeened them and resolved the problem.

    So to us, it seems apparent that fear of being stung, by someone who is not messing with the hive, is an unreasonable fear. It's like being afraid of water while living on a planet that is 2/3 covered with it. You have to accept that water is everywhere and so are bees.

  4. #124
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    I think that the main problem we face is the
    distinct lack of bees over the past 20 years
    due to the near elimination of feral colonies
    caused by the double-whammy of tracheal and
    varroa mites.

    When we were kids, we'd play barefoot, and wear
    sneakers only on forays into the woods. It was
    only a matter of time until someone stepped on a
    bee (honey or bumble), yellow jacket, or wasp,
    and got stung.

    We all learned that a sting was no big deal -
    the usual treatment was a hug and a cookie.
    Ball games resumed, tree forts were reoccupied,
    and excavation projects to dig up buried treasure
    continued.

    If we wanted to be afraid of something, we could
    fear nuclear war, soviet imperialism, and axe murders.
    Walter Cronkite and Edwin Newman told us what was
    important every evening, and they never mentioned
    bees once. Neither did the Washington Post, the
    New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal.

    But now, bees are as rare as hummingbirds in most
    suburban areas. A bee, any bee, is viewed as an
    unusual invader of the disneyfied, Chem-Lawned,
    manicured, soulless deserts of grass that sprawl
    around every town that has a TV station of its own,
    punctuated with Round-Up laced "gardens" no bigger
    than the master bedroom of the household.

    Of the few people who stop watching TV long enough
    to go outside, only a tiny fraction have seen a
    bluebird run off a bird 3 times its size in defense
    of its nest, over even watched a squirrel puzzle out
    a "squirrel-proof" birdfeeder.

    No wonder bees are feared, and every 5th person thinks
    that they are "deathly allergic" to bee stings. These
    same people would run screaming from the first snake
    they encountered, and would dial 911 at the sight of
    a fox. The only time they see any actual wildlife, it
    is described by a nasal voice saying "Danger, danger
    danger" with an Australian accent.


  5. #125
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    15
    jfischer,

    Well said!


  6. #126
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Post

    When I was about 2, I was stung. When my Mother saw it, and saw how quickly it was swelling, , she remembered the family trait of bee allergies and rushed me to the hospital. Good thing she did: as she was explaining to the receptionist I quit breathing and they had to code me.

    Nobody thought, during the excitement, to look for a stinger.

    As an adult, I was told by my allergist that it was yellowjackets that I was allergic too, not honey bees. For this, I am gratefull.

    Allergies can be pretty deadly. If I were Flowergirls neighbor I would move my bees. If I were Flowergirl, I would learn enough to protect myself from them. (In fact, as a child I DID!). I would also try to arrange for at the least a solid fence to make the bees fly up, and if he didn't put one up then *I* would to protect my yard. I would also HOPE that I could get him to move the bees, instead.

    Flowergirl and her neighbor BOTH have many choices they could use. The BIGGEST problem that I see in Boston is lack of common sense, actually, on both sides

    [This message has been edited by Terri (edited May 01, 2004).]

  7. #127
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Greetings,

    The public perception of bees that Jim speaks of also impacts that of the beekeeper. People sometimes view a beekeeper with awe, but mostly we are reduced to the wacky or weird. For those who fear the bee, a beekeeper is crazy. That effect hasn't been lost by TV producers who promote their products on fear.

    And our assurances to the non-beekeeping public about the bee's gentleness are contradicted by the visual images of us covered with suit, veil and gloves going forth with flaming smoker in hand to work the bees. Such assurances only reinforce this crazy label applied to beekeepers by those who have truely experienced the worst reaction to a bee's sting.

    It's often public perception that dictates what laws get passed by our public servants. And beekeepers are definately in the minority regarding their perception of bees. It's a good idea to tread lightly.

    Regards
    Dennis
    When the last parking lot was paved, a wax beekeeper was put on display in the tree museum. And all the children say, "OOOOOHHH" when they see him:> )

  8. #128
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    "If any of you kind people who have said that you would recommend that they locate the bees down the street would be willing to speak to my neighbors, I would greatly appreciate it."

    No mention of the kind people who have tried to inform you about honeybees and how the next door hive will not present any more of a threat than the hives 3/4 of a mile away.

    "The only danger to me is if my neighbor's put the hives in their yard, which I am trying very hard to prevent."

    Many of the members of this board have tried, in a civil manner, to explain to you that the hive next door poses no more of a danger to you than the hives 3/4 of a mile away, or for that matter any of the honeybees that currently visit your flowers. If you came to this board to learn more about bees and beekeepers, why are you ignoring them or accusing them of being uncivil because they do not share your point of view?

    "Mike Bush and JFischer,
    I know that there are several reasonable people on this list because some have posted and others have contacted me personally to apologize for the meanesss that some people have displayed. If I wanted to sue my neighbors I certainly could have done so by now. I am trying to avoid that tactic.
    I feel as though I am beating my head against the wall with people like you. You see the world in your own narrow way. Believe or not, many people, including most of our neighbors do not share you view. That is all I will say.
    I'm sorry Barry, unless you enforce the civility rule, I can't keep posting."

    FlowerGirl, you have shown with this post that you are not reading the posts on this topic with any level of seriousness. While I have not met Michael Bush, I know that while participating on this board he is one of the nicest, most informed, REASONABLE, and CIVIL people I have ever encountered. He is most generous with his time in helping others here, and if you will reread his posts you will understand what I am saying. Implying otherwise about him on this board is definitely unreasonable.

    "There is another apiary down the street about 3/4 mile. All of the abutters I spoke with have been stung, some multiple times. One was mowing his lawn. Anyone within a 1/4 mile who has a garden can't sit outside during the summer."

    This won't work on this forum. As most here are beekeepers, they simply know that this does not happen.

    "As I said, we haven't seen many honey bees, possibly because of the pesticides I use in my garden."

    I am unaware of a pesticide that is toxic to honeybees but not to bumble bees or butterflies. But one could exist. I'd like to hear more about it if it does.

    "When you move into an area and set up residence, what responsibilities do you have as a part of that community? As homeowners or renters, there are some basic expectations. First, we should all show the pride we have in our homes by taking care of the property. But being a good neighbor isn’t just about keeping your property up, it also means being considerate of others."

    One responsibility that comes to mind is to inform yourself of an issue before trying to force your neighbor to do what you want. Things I think you should have informed yourself on are:

    Honeybees and beekeepers: You say you are here to do that but seem to be ignoring anything said that is different from your preconceived ideas. Also, this should have been done first.

    Your specific allergy: I would be much more willing to work with my neighbor if they were willing to ensure that they still have the problem you describe before asking me to give something up that I enjoy.

    "I joined this board to clear my name and to become educated about beekeeping and hopefully to educate some of you about the health issues and concerns of people with bee allergies. Some of you have made helpful suggestions, for which I appreciate."

    By ignoring those who have tried to inform you about bees and beekeeping, I would assume that by "helpful suggestions" you mean "ideas with which I agree."

    "You people are unbelievable."

    Even those who have taken time to try to help you understand something they are passionate about? To whom are you referring when you say "You people..."? Some of the folks here have been pretty d****d nice to you in my opinion. Even some of those who disagree with you.

    " and spend the summer indoors, as well as my 19 other neighbors so that the beekeepers can sit in their lawn chairs watching their bees"

    Again, beekeepers are the wrong group to try this one on as they know it is not true.

    I don't think you're being completely genuine with us, FlowerGirl.

    I have a suggestion. Get your allergy problem checked out to confirm that it still exists. Undergo whatever treatment there is to eliminate this problem. Inform your neighbor of the results of your test and that you plan to get the treatment. Ask if, while you are getting this done, they could temporarily move the bees. I know that I would be willing to do this for a neighbor that was willing to compromise in such a fashion. Everyone wins - you get to enjoy your flowers with no fear, regardless of whether or not their are bees next door. And you would probably get some very good tasting, fresh honey on a regular basis!


    ------------------
    Rob Koss

    [This message has been edited by ikeepbees (edited May 01, 2004).]

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Anderson,IN,USA
    Posts
    130

    Question

    >honey bees killl more people in the US than any other biting insect combined, including snakes.

    I know it is a little off-topic but was wondering the honey bees quoted above were referring to "africanized" honey bees?

    Thank you

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    Doesn't much matter. The fact is that the African genes have reached our queen banks. Unless we start requeening exclusively from areas where the drone brood has no African component we will all have some killer bee genes in our yards. The bees I have today are much more aggessive than those I had as a kid.

    Wouldn't it be nice if the gooberment could mount a program like the old screw-worm eradication effort?
    Ox

  11. #131
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Frankfort, Kentucky
    Posts
    399

    Post

    Ok, I have been patiently quiet up until now.

    “Killer bee genes in our yards”

    As Beekeepers we really need to be conscious of how Hollywood has over-dramatized a.m. Scutellata – The African Bee or to some the Africanized Bee. For Beekeepers to use terms like “killer bee genes in our yards” will only play into the hands of the already scared USA public.

    My family and I grew up our whole life only knowing, working and living with the true African Bee, a.m. Scutellata. Yes, I do have some horror stories from Africa but so far we have not seen any of the Hollywood portrayals of the Killer Bees. What about Jaws and Claws? Let’s bury “The Swarm” with the rest of the trash.

    Please let us as beekeepers refrain from using this over-dramatized impression of a.m. Scutellata to describe them.

    I do however support the statement that we should carefully consider where the Africanized Bees have spread and where we buy our queens. Just to let you know Africanzied Bees are now up to and passed Stockton in CA. Makes one think about where they will be by this time next year. Remember it is us Beekeepers spreading it and on one else




    ------------------
    If a job is worth doing - Then do it well

  12. #132
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    FlowerGirl, what I have read is that you have your mind made up and you will not change your opinion about bees next door. I understand your fear but I ask that you really listen to these experts on this forum. They can help you minimize conflict. If this goes to litigation your position has been compromised by your own actions:
    You are allergic to bee stings yet you plant flowers knowing this will entice bees to your proximity.
    There have been many good suggestions about changing the flower types to ones not frequented by bees - some are quite beautiful.

    I do understand your position - you were living there first before the bees but you can co-exist with nearby hives with alittle patience and knowledge. One thing I will say in your defense is bees can get alittle cranky for various reasons. Given your distance away from the hives I can not say whether this generates a greater risk.

    If you get some ordinance passed you are not "JUST" effecting yourself but the whole community. You must remember, beekeeping has been around for a very long time and any attempt to curtail this most likely will be met with much legal opposition.

    I wish you and your neighbor the best of luck.

  13. #133

    Post

    If I was the beekeeper, I would say that I was "deathly allergic" to her flowers and take action to stop her from having them. This way the bee bait would be gone and he could keep his bees.

    This idea is just as absurd as hers.

    My neighbors smoke. I guess I should file a law suit to stop them because when I can smell the cigarettes, my life is being threatened. I'm allergic to lung cancer.

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    Rob:

    I used the term "killer bee" just as the layman uses it. No one other than beekeepers and professionals use the term "AHB". If Aunt Minnie down by the church gets bitten by a horsefly she will most likely think it was a "killer bee".

    Now--I disagree with those who think that Flower Girl's neighbors have unlimited rights. When they establish an apiary in town they know darned good and well that they are increasing the concentration of bees in the area. That concentration increases exponentially with proximity to the hives, so that the number of bees in the air over FG's property is going to be much greater than the concentration even two blocks down the street. This being the case, the likelihood that FG will be stung by one of her neighbor's bees is much greater than that she would be stung by a bee from a more distant hive.

    I believe that any beekeeper who establishes an apiary in a confined space next to a person with a known serious allergy is not only careles and irresponsible, but criminally negligent. Such individuals put us all at risk. Cigarette makers too once thought they were bulletproof.

    I suspect that the day when beekeepers could claim "it ain't my bee" is over, and that any jury hearing a case for damages against them will most likely NOT be composed of beekeepers.
    Oxankle


  15. #135
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Oxankle,
    Thats the first reference to "unlimited" rights that I recall. Who's been saying that?

    More than several people have said that liability would be an issue and we can all be sued if negligence is proven. As of yet, no damage or irresponsible acts have occurred. Only wild claims and assumptions.

  16. #136
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,102

    Post

    >so that the number of bees in the air over FG's property is going to be much greater than the concentration even two blocks down the street.

    In the air, yes, but way overhead. The bees spread out to forage and concentrate in areas where there is a lot of forage. I would not expect any noticeable amount more bees in her yard from one hive next door. At 20 you probably would notice more bees, but mostly when there is nothing to forage and they are searching the area for pollen and nectar. Bees going too and from forage tend to go up and then to the location and up and then back. Of course a six-foot fence around the hive would pretty much insure this.

    I think putting in a apiary of 20 or more hives in town would be irresponsible. You are now reaching a level of saturation where the bees are at a noticeably higher density in any given spot within their foraging area. Of course there is an apiary already within the foraging area of her yard so there is probably already what most would consider a high concentration of bees that will hardly be affected by one more hive. Another reason I don't think there will be a noticeable difference in the number of bees.

    Besides, let's face it, the world is full of bees. They are everywhere. You cannot go somewhere in the Continental US where there are not bees already and we all know that they are not trying to sting anyone unless they are getting in the hive.

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