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  1. #61
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Danbury,Ct. USA


    Mike touched on something technically known as "Flower Fidelity". When the bees find a good source of nectar they stick with it. Sometimes even if a better source opens up. They won't get sidetracked for the occasional ornamental. It's unlikely that your garden would create a honey flow. They go for volume. He said something else I want to underline. Don't swat at them. There's a good reason for this. They don't see slow motion but are very keyed into fast motion. You're not going to swat them out of the air anyway. It's hard to make a honey-bee sting even when you're right next to a hive, and that's where they have something to protect. My "landlord" on the farm where I keep my bees had one get into her ear. She managed to get it out without a sting. In the field bees are all business. Thanks for coming back on the board. You've added something to it but I can't put my finger on it.
    Quit asking people to be civil, you're making them do it with your approach, but you can't demand it. With a thousand people, we have all kinds.
    I feel that I have to tell you that some of the resistance you may feel here is due to the fact that you are "hollerin' before you're hurt". All this about 80,000 bees and staying in the house is still imagination. While your anticipation may have some grounds it doesn't merit a war.
    Something a little more personal, about anticipation. I have some expertise in psychology. You may get stung again. I assume you are prepared medically. The mental thing is different. Don't assume that the reaction will be the same as last time. Don't panic, breath slowly, walk...don't run. Do some relaxation techniques while you wait for help. An anxiety attack is paralyzing also. Local swelling and pain are normal! As you've read, allergies change. Yours may have.

    Hope this helps, and that you work it out.


  2. #62
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Rowley, MA



    The problem is that my yard is full of "attractants."
    I have 14 lillac bushes, vibernum, hollys, and 35 varieties of perennials that apparently attract bees. I feel like a sitting duck. And I don't intend to dig them up, as has been suggested.

    The desensitization injections are worth exploring.

    Listen, my personal goal is to have this issue resolved by Mother's Day which is May 9th so I could enjoy the day with my family. I have a knot in my stomach 24/7 about this. 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. I was hoping they might visit or join this board, but that hasn't happened. I'm not sure it would help, but at least you speak their language. If willing, please e-mail me directly.

    Thank you.


  3. #63
    jfischer Guest


    > The problem is that with 80K bees in the next yard,
    > statistically the number of bees, and thus my
    > likelihood of being stung increases.

    The statement above evinces a such a severe lack
    of understanding of such wide swaths of basic concepts
    in entomology, botany, statistics, and simple
    reasoning and logic that it prompts me to continue to
    beat this long-since deceased horse of an "issue".

    One would think that if one's life was at stake, one
    would want to learn about the "threat" a bit.

    Further, if the threat is real, one would be well-advised
    to take simple steps to protect one's life, rather than
    tempting fate by gardening.

    Claiming to be highly allergic while keeping a garden of
    plants knowing that they tend to attract stinging insects
    is exactly the same as keeping the explosives and ammunition
    next to the woodstove.

    The limiting factor in the "number of insect visits" has
    nothing to do with the number of bees within 1, 5, or
    even 10 miles and everything to do with what resources
    are available that are of interest to bees. (By "resources",
    I mean pollen, nectar, and water.)

    There are several terms for persisting in such overtly
    risky behavior while at the same time making demands
    upon others. "Contributory negligence", "suicidal
    tendencies", and "torturous conduct" come to mind.

    If I were allergic to, say, Diesel exhaust, I would be
    well advised to stay away from truck stops and bus depots.
    If I were to adopt the approach of our correspondent from
    the North Shore, I would instead demand that all diesel
    vehicles be banned from entire area east of I-95 in Essex
    county MA, but still persist in visiting the truck stops
    because I liked their selection of pies.

    Truck stops exist for one purpose - to serve trucks.
    Likewise, flowering plants have flowers for only one reason
    - to attract pollinators, including stinging insects.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Rowley, MA


    Dickm wrote:

    Thanks for coming back on the board. You've added something to it but I can't put my finger on it.

    Your post made me smile. I'll try to stop asking people to be civil. I can't quite put my finger on why I am here- I think I am trying to understand my neighbors and hope that you may be able to help us
    find a solution.

    I realize it is a fear, but it is very real. I think I will
    need to stay indoors if they come, until my family assures me it is safe. The fact is no one really knows where the bees will be until they get here.


  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    NE Calif.


    Well,looks like you lost and will have to just 'suck it up and get over it'(as my wife loves to tell me when I complain about something I have no control over)!I was terrified of bees when I was a child and I do remember the fear.So for that reason I still hope the neighbors will voluntarily keep the bees somewhere else.But I think you should check out the de-sensitizing treatment so you can get over this.There will always be bees in this world and that wont change,might as well learn to love 'em.For 60 dollars you can get a beesuit that is virtually sting proof.

  6. #66

    Big Grin

    Pat wrote:
    > I have two avenues left, the Board of Health, which the Selectmen recommended, followed by the superior court...
    So I take it, you've "dismissed" my alternative solution? <g>

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Rowley, MA


    txbeeguy wrote:

    So I take it you've dismissed my alternative sugeestion.

    I'm afraid so. Besides, I don't want to harm the bees. They are innocent victims here.

    As far as the comments about contributory negligent, blaming the victim will not move this discussion forward. I've been a lawyer for 25 years, trust me planting a gardening does not constitute contributory negligence in any state. Until now, it has not been an issue. As I said, I rarely see a honey bee in my garden, and would prefer to keep it that way. I have never been stung at this house either.
    The only danger to me is if my neighbor's put the hives in their yard, which I am trying very hard to prevent. Then I agree it would be negligent for me to go outdoors, which is why I will have to remain confined to my home.


  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    NE Calif.


    Ok heres the compromise(putting on Solomons robe)You get the de-sensitising treatment-the neighbors keep the bees away for a year-then next year,only if the treatment is successful,they can have their bees. My last post on this.Best of luck to you!

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS


    >"As it it, she attracts sympathy like the bees to her garden."

    If you are going to quote, use the complete quote, not just your interpetation.

    "As it is, she is just attracting attention on sympathy like she attracts bees to her yard, by her own actions."

    I should have known better to involve myself in a controversial issue, I don't usually, unless it is on the second admendment.

    >I am neither looking for sympathy, nor do I feel I deserve blame.

    My point is that when you could not pursuade the neighbor to give in to your concerns you brought in outside attention with the press and the city by using a percieved allergy as an emotional excuse for forbiding the neighbor to have his hobby. I again say percieved allergy as you do not know the true extent of your allergy as it has been eight years since you have had an episode. Things change, you MAY have, until you are tested you will not truly know. I was tested twenty years ago and went through a desensitizing program. It took a long time but the results were fantastic, I am able to do things I never could before and have not had another attack since. No more medications, no more sleepless nights, no more pain and suffering.

    >Why is one person's hobby more valuable than anothers?

    Why is yours more valuable than his? I say neither is more important, you both have the right to persue happiness.

    >And why is it ok for someone to let their pets loose in someone else's yard?

    Ever try to keep a cat in your yard? Can't do it, but I wouldn't put out fish in my yard if I didn't want cats in it.

    >Don't I have any rights regarding the use of my property?

    The same as they do.

    >My husband and I have landscaped our property ourselves over 8 years, at great expense, planting a row of lillacs along the driveway, and numerous perennial beds and bushes, which were designed to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

    I love to landscape, I have had my yard on the pond tour four years,(not in a row), I am proud of my yard, but I go out of my way to plant things that ATTRACT bees. I plan on removing the lillacs because they are of little or no use to the bees. I am removing the vining honeysuckle too, and replacing it with the bush type for the bees. The list goes on, but I like to plan and plant and grow. I also like change in my life and changing a few plants is not a bad thing.

    >I don't see why I should be forced to remove them because my neighbors aren't willing to do the neighborly thing and put the hives down the street, out of harm's way.

    As has been pointed out, just because they are a bit further away will not change the fact that you will be visited by them or other's bees anyway.

    I see by the posts since your reply that you have become more accepting of the situation and am trying to understand and work out your fears about being stung. You have gotten a lot of good advise and your willingness to accept it is a step in the right direction. I had a tremendious fear of being stung before I started keeping bees. I used to swell up big and hard (where I was stung ), and now the reaction is much less, the more I get stung the less the reaction. I have always been one to address my fears and challenge myself, and in doing so I have grown as a person and have a greater feeling of being totally free of those inabitions. I hope the same for you.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Porter, Ok USA


    Hey, Pat:

    Maybe not contributory negligence, but is sure is "torturous conduct". LOL.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA


    I'm not sure how to get across the concept, but the bees really don't work flowers close anymore than they work flowers far away. 2 miles is just their backyard. They will forage much further if they have too, but up to 2 miles they don't even think twice about. They investigate that 2 mile radius and know everything blooming in it and every landmark to traverse it. I honestly don't think the number of bees in your yard will be that different with the hive a mile down the road than with it 100 yards away.

    I have a huge pear tree that shades part of my apiary. None of my hives are more than 10 yards from it. It's white with blooms every spring (it just got done this year) and I have never seen one of my bees on it. The orchard bees and mason bees are all over it, but no honey bees. Why? Because the bees don't care how convienient it is, they care how much total sugar content they can get and there are more enticing things somewhere else.

    You probably won't see any more bees when you have flowers blooming than when you don't either. From my experience you'll probably see more of them when NOTHING is blooming because that's when the bees have to investigate everything trying to find some flowers or some pollen.

    Of course you always see more of anything if you're looking for them.

    I think you may also start to see that we beekeepers don't see bees as dangerous or agressive. ESPECIALLY foraging bees. Even a mean hive is only defensive of the hive and not many beekeepers want to put up with a mean hive.

    If I thought of bees as dangerous I probably wouldn't purposely have 2 million of them living in my side yard less than 50 yards from my house.

    Also, having bee hives in my yard, my wife has never been stung. My daughter has never been stung. Only one of my sons got stung and the was the same one who would take nosedives down the stairs. He wasn't quick to catch on to danger. One of my grandsons stepped on a bee barefoot and got stung. Basically of all the people who have lived with me and the bees for the last 30 years (often with a hive 10 yards from the door) only two children managed to get stung. Frankly I, the beekeeper, only got stung four or five times in the first 28 years before I got more hives. (not counting taking colonies out of trees and houses where I got a few more stings while totally destroying their home and giving them a new one.) And all of those I was working the hive wearing dark clothes (a no-no when working a hive) or not paying attention. And in the 20 years before that I was only stung once when I stepped on one barefoot as a kid. (we did not have any hives when I was kid nor did I know of any and I knew the 2 mile radius around my house like the back of my hand). I did know about a colony in the wall of a shed about 2 miles away though. It was my first exposure to a hive of bees. I remember great beards of bees hanging on the outside on a summer day.

    So I admit, it's hard for me to veiw honey bees as a threat. I consider the odds of getting stung, if I'm not walking barefoot and I'm not working the hives, to be less than me winning the jackpot in the lottery.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Rockville, Maryland,U.S.A.


    hey Keith Malone ,your links do not work ,I tried ,even googled ,no luck

  13. #73
    jfischer Guest


    > I've been a lawyer for 25 years, trust me planting
    > a gardening does not constitute contributory negligence
    > in any state.

    Now I get it... only a lawyer could combine such
    a misinformed set of assumptions with such outrageous
    demands upon others without even a shred of evidence
    in support of the basis for the demands.

    Well, gloves off then, as we are simple beekeepers
    facing a powerful and highly-educated attorney.

    I must warn everyone that this lawyer may be trolling
    for some basis to sue her neighbors. Don't give her
    any ammunition folks, let's make her do her own research.

    > I said I wasn't going to post again, but it's
    > hard not to when people saying nasty things about me

    Stop pretending to be so offended, counselor.
    One more posturing whine, and we start with the lawyer jokes!

    > I can't understand how you can possibly blame me
    > for having a flower garden.

    Because it increases the odds that you will encounter
    a stinging insect by several orders of magnitude over
    not having one! By gardening, you are putting yourself
    up for a Darwin award (if you are in fact still allergic,
    a condition that may no longer be present after 8 years
    since your last sting.) Your garden is a clear and
    compelling example of reckless behavior that no person
    truly at risk of a life-threatening allergic reaction to
    a bee sting would even consider.

    > The problem is that my yard is full of "attractants."
    > I have 14 lillac bushes, vibernum, hollys, and 35
    > varieties of perennials that apparently attract bees.
    > I feel like a sitting duck. And I don't intend to dig
    > them up, as has been suggested.

    Well, let's see if we can paint a similar picture or two.

    If a lion was carrying off your livestock, the occasional
    pet, and random small children, would you persist in leaving
    large hunks of raw meat lying about your yard? I'd hope not.

    If your vision started to blur, would you demand that the
    town replace all the street signs with large-print versions?
    Of course not - you'd be expected to fix your own problem
    with glasses, contacts, whatever.

    > Here's a question for all of you- Is it possible to
    > contain the bees on certain days. What I am thinking is
    > that I work M-F, so my only gardening days are on the
    > weekend. Would it be possible to keep the hives covered
    > on weekends?

    The hive would overheat. The bees would be unable to forage.
    The weekend is also when your neighbor would want to "work"
    his colonies. Don't expect anyone to disrupt their lifestyle
    to make your life more enjoyable. Play the hand you were
    dealt, and deal with your own medical condition yourself.
    There are treatments for conditions like yours. I suggest
    John Hopkins, as they have a good track record in the area
    of sting allergy treatment. But first, I'd suggest a check-up
    at Davners State Hospital to address the other issues you have

    > I have two avenues left, the Board of Health, which
    > the Selectmen recommended, followed by the superior court...

    Expect to be challenged at every turn. Not only will your
    opponents ask pointed questions about your own perverse
    persistence in overtly putting yourself in harm's way,
    but you will find that many well-respected entomologists
    live and work within a short drive of whatever venue you pick.
    (Will someone please inform her beekeeping neighbors of this
    discussion thread, or print it out and mail it to them? I fear
    that they will soon find out that they must defend themselves
    against a baseless suit.)

    > I do have dragon flies, hummingbirds, butterflies,
    > bumblebees and wasps and yellowjackets and many birds.
    > When I do see a honey bee, I just work in another area.

    So you have no fear of wasp venom, bumblebee venom, or
    yellowjacket venom, yet you are convinced that a honeybee
    will do you in. Please get a clue - ask a allergist about
    the relative impact of the venom of each on a typical
    allergic person, and don't forget your cellphone so you
    can order up the ready-mix to pour yourself a patio that
    covers your entire back yard on the way home.

    > Why is one person's hobby more valuable than anothers?

    It is not a matter of "value", it is a matter of choices.
    If I decide to resume my hobby of rock-climbing, do I have
    the right to demand that the entire valley floor of Franconia
    Notch, NH be covered with down pillows just in case I fall?
    Of course not. As I am "allergic" to falls from high places
    onto hard surfaces, I should take care to avoid such situations.
    No one can protect me from myself, can they?

    > I don't see why I should be forced to remove [the flowering
    > plants] because my neighbors aren't willing to do the neighborly
    > thing and put the hives down the street, out of harm's way.

    A mile away won't help you. Two miles away won't help you.
    I think the record for verified bee foraging distance was 14 km.
    That's 8.6 miles. Take a map, and draw a circle. That's
    the zone from which the "threat" can come, and it matters not
    one tiny bit where a bee colony is within that circle. The
    highest risk would come from a 4 mile radius circle.

    In short, do your homework, counselor.

    Let's review:

    a) You claim that you are "allergic" as if this were a lifelong
    condition. See a doctor. See several. Get some tests.
    Let's have a factual basis for your claims. You may be
    pleasantly surprised to find that you have nothing to fear.

    b) If you are allergic, let's see some "due care" on YOUR part.
    Little things like lifting at least one finger to reduce
    the risk you face. Then, and only then, is anyone else
    going to take you seriously, let alone consider standing on
    their head for your personal gardening amusement.

    c) You claim that you are allergic to honeybees, yet you apparently
    have no fear of other stinging insects. This is highly unusual
    for someone with your affliction. Again, it undercuts the
    credibility of your claims. Massively.

    d) You seem to fear a beehive 100 yards away more than a colony
    of bees a mile away. Let me assure you that both pose
    exactly the same level of risk, and that this can be proven
    to a highly accurate level of scientific credibility to the
    satisfaction of any interested party, including judges and juries.

    e) In the event that you are stung, you have a 0% chance of proving
    that the bee came from the hive(s) you fear. Forget about civil
    suits. Find some other way to get rich. This one's a dry hole.

    f) Stop trying to bully your neighbors. You have a treatable allergy
    condition. Go get cured, and stop expecting the world to modify
    itself to your whim.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Rowley, MA


    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.


  15. #75
    kookaburra Guest


    Please be aware that what we have is primarily FEAR.

    You fear bees. Not unreasonable. Being beekeepers, we think it is mostly unfounded based on what we know.

    We fear people who try to take away our bees. Not unreasonable, but that is how we see people who try to keep us from keeping them by us.

    In all cases, fear stimulates responses from the irrational to the extremely rational. Some of us respond because we feel more threatened. Likewise, people who have any other fear will respond in the same way.

    By coming on the beekeeper forum, you open yourself to whole ranges of responses, even if it was not expectingly. We do feal threatened, just as you do.

    I think your fear, while it is reasonable, is probably unfounded. Since it sounds like there will be a beehive or two nearby, if you keep fighting, you will see bees everywhere, trying to get you. If you cautiously accept it, you will probably find that while there may be a few more bees around (not any more if there are any other beehives within 3 or so miles of you already) they aren't threatening you.

    But that is your call.


  16. #76


    Best of luck to you in your legal pursuits (because I do expect it will end up that way). I'm no lawyer but I would warn you to 'bone up' on your case law regarding this issue as most of the examples I can recall reading, have ended favorably for the beekeeper. It seems the 'nuisance animal' provisions of most local laws may be your best bet - but don't count on winning...

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Rowley, MA



    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. One lady had to dig up her asters by her front door because they were covered with honey bees. As I said, we haven't seen many honey bees, possibly because of the pesticides I use in my garden.

    You are right, part of the issue is fear. When you have a 60% chance of anaphlyactic reaction, you'd be afraid too.

    By the way, honey bee venom is chemically different from wasp or yellow jacket venom. It has more protein which is why honey bees killl more people in the US than any other biting insect combined, including snakes.


  18. #78
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Danbury,Ct. USA


    You did it again. You asked for civility. It makes me picture you as an infirm old lady who asks people to tea. "A lady is a person in whose presence a gentleman isa gentleman". I suppose an attorney would get the habit of expecting a "judge" somewhere to keep order.
    I actually have a solution but you won't like it because it requires you to do something. (As opposed to others doing it).
    It's a good solution and it would leave you safer than you are now. But you won't like it.
    Someone mentioned that bees don't work Lilac. While species vary, there are many beautiful flowering plants that bees have no attraction to. Roses, I think are in this category. Some plants don't put out nectar.
    Let's all come over for a day and dig up all the bee attractant flowers and plant non-attractant flowers. We expect tea at 10 and 2. You will have a more beautiful garden and feel a lot safer in it. How about it guys, are you willing?
    Since you are sort of a beekeeper-attractant yourself, I want all my buddies, who can't stay away from this thread anyway, to bury you in a list of flowers that do NOT attract bees. Told you you would'nt like it!


  19. #79
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    lewisberry, Pa, usa


    A nuisance complaint brought against a beekeeper who broke no ordinances, and no harm brought against anyone.

    The recruitment, and I'm sure some negative comments passed along the way, in finding 25 people to sign a petition against this beekeeper. Not one of them harmed. Perhaps frightened by your(flowergirls) actions. A great disservice towards the entire beekeeping industry no doubt.

    The attention further promoted by the media. They like good stories, not facts. I'm sure I know who called the media.

    The unwillingness of flowergirl to diminish the possibility of this "life-threatening" situation, by not having a flower garden herself. This in fact attracts all stinging insects. She, before limiting her own actions, would rather limit the rights to others.

    One good thing has happened, the town board, after probably discussing with the solicitor, came to the conclusion that no harm or nuisance has been proven. This was the correct call as I mentioned.

    Flowergirl has hit upon an issue that many beekeepers have seen. The publics misunderstanding and laws passed without merit. I'm sorry if not more sympathetic ears are awaiting your next post, and as noted, are many.

    She now baits her garden with nectar plants and acknowledges she awaits with video camera in hand.

    From the start I have questioned the story as being more than what it is. And questioned the accusations brought about against not only a beekeeper but a citizen of the country. As the story continues, more and more is brought to light. The story changes. Now, instead of a "whao is me" person, we find out that flowergirl is a 25 year attorney.
    She solicits help from this board for actions against a INNOCENT beekeeper, all the while cruyng FOUL everytime someone says anything that could be twisted as negative. I'm sure while reading this, someone will stand up and cry out "objection!" This is not a courtroom. Its an open discussion. A discussion I hope will be allowed to be followed up in another thread, entitled "what we need to as an industry to fight frivolous claims and local accusations and persecution".

    I did not count the posts from flowergirl but I'm guessing 15 plus. This discussion should of ended when she said, "why should I stop my flower garden, the beekeeper should stop his bees. Some lifethreatening issue.

    As I said before, in my opinion, there is more to the story, motive, and agenda. I hope this discussion ends.

    In the meantime, does anyone know an email, address or tel. number to the local beekeeping club who was involved. Or to the Lewsinski's. I would like to congradulate them, show my support and ask if a fund needs to be established to fight off crap like this. It may be in their community today, but it may be in yours tomorrow.

    Someone let me know when this craps ends.

  20. #80
    kookaburra Guest


    3/4 mile? and you don't see many bees?
    They aren't interested in your flowers. Next door they won't be interested in them either. There isn't enough there for them. They will head out the mile and get the loosestrife and goldenrod.

    Yes they are preferencial to certain flowers.
    My asters in the fall are covered with bees...wasps that is includeing some really ugly 1.5 inch black wasp, and a only few honeybees. Very few or none in the flowergarden (my wife's).

    A honey bee flying around getting nectar isn't trying to sting. If it lands the only reason it will sting is if it is threatened (crushed, slapped, stepped on). The best way to get one off (and the others can correct me if Im wrong) is a puff of breath or a flick. If you flail at it (and that is the natural reaction) it will probably sting.

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