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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    135

    Default Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    I'm down in Texas and I'm having a hard time showing my parents that bees really are a peaceful creature, and that their stinging is only a provoked response. I also need legit input on how much room these bee's will need as a radius. I'm thinking a 10x11 foot area for my sideyard that has garden fence (flexible and movable) on two sides, and a house wall and fence on the other. The hive would be up against the house wall (not directly) in the center of the 11 foot area. The side yard extends beyond that area, but I'd like to prove to them that that area would be accessible without danger of getting stung. The garden wire "fence" would be removable and replaceable. Also I'd like some info on the general docility and aggression of non-Africanized feral bees. Back me up guys! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    Well, here is my sideyard!! They don't like it much when I mow but other than that they are kittens.

    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    I have four hives six feet from my house. I walk past them on the way to my front door everyday. I've never had one bug me when I wasn't actively messing with the hive. I never wear protective gear when I open up the hives. I get stung maybe one time in ten when I'm lifting out frames etc.

    On sunny days I often go out and set up a deck chair on my bee platform and set right between the hives sharing the sun while I check e-mail and have my morning coffee. Sometimes they land on me, mostly they just fly around me. Never been stung doing this.

    In general bees are not aggressive. Certainly hot hives exists and a hive can become hot but in general honey bees leave you alone when your not doing anything to make them angry. Remember that every time a bee stings you that bee dies so its not something they do casually, they have to think that you are literally a threat worth dying for.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Elmira, NY
    Posts
    947

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    You've got plenty of room for a hive or two.

    In order to get the bees up and over folks' heads, consider facing them toward the house and about 18" from the wall. (Assuming that any windows are screened and /or people in your house have the sense not to open any unscreened windows in front of a hive.)

    When the bees orient to the location, they will zig zag back and forth up the wall to the top.
    When they leave to go forage, nearly all of them will exit the hive with a u-turn while climbing skyward at an angle of 45 degrees or more.

    I placed a hive this way near (~60') one of the busiest sidewalks in our town, and the bees bothered no one...not pedestrians, and not the neighbors.

    I've got a hive and 6 nucs in a 10' wide side yard now. There are apartment houses on both sides of the lot, and a lot of kids and pets nearby. No one is bothered and very few even realize the bees are there.

    Have fun.
    Enjoy your bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    351

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    put a lil sugar water on your hand and let the bees drink it ,in front of parents ,then give them a jar of honey and remind them you'll have lots of it . good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    My back porch hive, its nice to sit in the rocker and watch the bees come and go.

    bph 6.jpg
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    All great info, one last thing, how do they react when you mow nearby or edge with a weed wacker of sorts?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    All great info, thanks. What about mowing near the hive? Edging I can manually take care of, I'm not afraid to get on my hands and knees with some scissors for such a small area :) How is their reaction?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rogersville, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    Fisher, you better clean up all the fallen wisteria petals! Seriously, though what a beautiful placement of your hive and a fine example of how docile they really are!

    drmanhadan, I can say of my 17 hives, some are more gentle than others. But I routinely check on the hives with several kiddos in tow. I have never even been worried that they would get stung. I do make them stay back about 10 to 15 feet when I am opening up a hive, but they have never even been so much a bothered by the girls. We also walk right past the hives (5 or 6 feet away) almost daily, mind you we don't stand in front of the entrances (which disturbs their flight path) but we will occasionally stop in between hives to watch.

    I like the suggestions about putting them facing the wall to affect their normal take off path.

    For space, a beekeeper in my association says, "3 square feet." That is about the size of the hive. Facing the entrance away from seating areas is another good idea, and will help deter them from coming out and flying directly at your parents back yard dinner guests. Although from the looks of it Fisher has the hive pointed right at the rocking chair with no apparent issue. Love it!!!

    They really are docile and usually if 8-10 feet away from the hive, you would never even know they were there... They are really very fun to watch.

    I use hand clippers up close when checking the hives (mainly because my gas trimmer is broken, lol). I do it right after I smoke the entrance and before taking off the top. this seems to give them a chance to get calmed down after being smoked and is just about the right amount of time to let that happen. I mow at dusk after most of the flight activity has ceased for the day. Just make sure not to blow the grass at the hive entrance.

    Good luck convincing mom & dad, I will warn you though... Once you do and they see the benefits and how much fun it is to watch them come and go, you may have to invest in some more hives.
    Jeff - like me on facebook
    See my bees @ www.ozarkshoney.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    I had a hive in my backyard that was a new package this year. It attacked me 4 times mowing, leaf blowing etc. As soon as the new queen took over they were back to normal. I mowed and used the leaf blower yesterday with no problem.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    Would smoking them a bit do the trick? I've read in numerous places that mowing is generally not an issue, what do you think caused this/ can prevent this?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    Sometimes smoke works...sometime not....they are females after all
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    I have a chair that sits next to two of my hives where I watch them work. On cool mornings, the sun hits the chair before before the hives, and they will fly out and land on me to warm up, then fly off after a minute or two.

    I can generally determine the girl's mood by just watching them for a couple of minutes. If the weather is good and they seem OK, I mow. If the weather is iffy, or the girls seem pissy, I avoid mowing in front of the hives. Haven't been stung while mowing YET.
    Integrity - Doing the right thing when no one is watching.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,256

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    I generally have no trouble mowing near my hives, but weed eating is another kettle of fish! There's something about the sound of that gas engine...so I never weed eat without veil and gloves (and I always work the hives without gloves). Until you discover their temperment with your mower and weed eater, you may want to suit up.

    I had a friend in Florida, in an older area of town, who had a back yard smaller than it looks like Nasalsponge's is, pictured above. He had some orange trees in it, and about 30 hives, very close together. Talk about densely populated! But nary a problem.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,570

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    I would face them towards the fence so the guard bees are eyeing people in the yard...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    StevenG, that is my sideyard, my backyard is about 5 times that size. I am getting to a place in my life that I am starting to wish that was my whole backyard.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Long Beach, Ca
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    My back porch hive, its nice to sit in the rocker and watch the bees come and go.

    bph 6.jpg
    Just a bit late but is this a Nuc hive? How productive is it?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    No its a eight framer.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    I use a gas string trimmer (weed whacker) right up to the hive stand. I do wear my veil and jacket (rookie) but they don't seem to react to the trimming at all. They just keep doing what they're doing, while I'm doing what I'm doing.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Sideyard Beekeeping, need some info!

    THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP AND INFO!!!
    I just today received a swarm from a removal specialist and got a box earlier this month!
    http://s1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii611/DanBeeMan/

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