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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Parker, CO
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    19

    Default Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    Hey all:

    My neighbor (1/8 mile away) says that my bees are making a beeline for their back deck (which has some plants on it) and are bothering them personally.

    She claims now that they are getting aggressive...not sure what that means exactly.

    I have a trough for water and I am currently feeding them.

    I figure that the bees are only interested in those 2 things. Take them away and the bees will go away too. That's not the best answer though. She is asking how to keep them away.

    Any thoughts besides the obvious one I mentioned?

    Thanks,

    BannonB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    I would start out by trying to identify the "bees". I have had many calls about bees that turn out to be hornets, or wasps, or other creatures. Then if your bees are light or dark, or whatever color, see if the bees causing the problems are the same color. If they are, then you could try beelining to see if they are from your hives, or marking some of the bees on the back deck with something and see if they go back to your hives. I can't imagine a foraging bee really bothering anyone unless the person was aggressive to the bees.

    I think bees are interested in more than just sugar water and water. They also are looking for pollen and, at times, minerals. They are very much creatures of habit, and if your water source ran dry, they might have found a new one, and are sticking to it.

    Ted

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

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    Work for peace, Prepare for war.

    Don't spend to much time trying to solve a non existent problem.

    Speak reasonably to your neighbors while doing research to see if there are any legal codes that they could possible use against you. Work on making your own property impeccable legal wise while at the same time use your talks with the neighbor to survey their place for any possible illegal acts or code violations.

    When talks break down (as they almost always do) inform them that it is perfectly legal for you to keep bees and that they deal with it or move away. When they attempt to retaliate (as the almost always do) drop the hammer on them. Use whatever you previously learned about them to get them in as much trouble as possible. Make sure that you are the first to call the police. Take the high road in public while working in the dark to make their lives as miserable as you can devise. Make it clear to them that you are not worth screwing with. Never lose control, always try to appear to be the reasonable one, but never back down.

    Count on the fact that most people who are irrationally afraid of bees are also irrationally afraid of people, dogs, UFOs, Voodoo, etc. Expect extreme retaliation, poisoned pets, slashed tires, etc. Get a security system, collect evidence. Their retaliation is the best weapon you have IF you can get proof of it. Push them tell they break. If they where sane, intelligent people you wouldn't have the problem in the first place so use their irrational fears against them. There are many laws that protect people from real threats, there are very few that protect them from irrational ones.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,440

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    Goodnees Aerindel! Do you sleep with one eye open? lol

    Funny how things are so different from one place to another. All my neighbors (all two of them) ask to come over to see the bees. I even caught one of my neighbors talking to one of the girls last week.
    It helps when you bring some honey to the neighbors and tell them exactly how hard the girls work for their delicious treat.
    It seems to shed a whole new light on our new hobby!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,843

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    All my neighbors have been reasonable and supportive so I can't offer advice on how to proceed with your neighbors.

    On the other hand, if I had to become the miserable creature Aerindel is suggesting you become, I'd give away all my bees.

    Wayne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    Aerindel, have you done this before?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    Thing to bear in mind, is a fear of bees is quite reasonable, to somebody who does not understand them.

    To me, the bees bothering the neighbors scenario, is the same as someone being bothered by the neighbors dog. Dogs can be intimidating, especially if they look like they might bite, and even more so if they come onto your property. The dog owner though, can be unsympathetic because to him, his dog is a friend, the neighbors are just whingers.

    Take your neighbors complaint seriously. What's worked for me (sometimes), is to have a smile on your face, and invite them to come and look at the hives. Make it happen on a good day, spray the bees with sugar water first, and generally do everything to ensure the bees are totally docile. Open the hive, show them the honey and let them taste it, show them the brood, they will likely be fascinated and realise bees are not just angry little beings whose sole purpose in life is to try to sting someone. You could also check out their back deck and see if something can be done to alleviate the problem. Could there be a light bees are flying to at night? If so, relocate the bees to where they will not see the light.

    If all fails though, you may just have to bite the bullet and relocate the bees.

    There was a thread here a year or two ago, where the boot was on the other foot. The Beesource member had bad relations with the neighbor, although the neighbor had not complained about the bees. The Beesource member eventually decided to "punish"the neighbor, by complaining about the neighbors dog. Got ugly, went to court, etc, and eventually he succeeded in having the dog removed, the outcome in the end was the dog was destroyed.
    The obviously upset neighbor now decided to pull some strings of his own, turns out he was a relation of the town mayor. By playing some politics they were able to persuade the council to enact local bylaws banning beekeeping in a certain area.

    The Beesource member then posted, asking what to do. In my opinion, he brought it on himself. Did to the neighbor exactly what some people do to beekeepers, he did not apply principles of live and let live, was selfish, and not a good neighbor. Which brought about him being treated in the same way, then he complained.

    Bottom line, treat others as you would want to be treated. Don't treat it as a war, unless you want one.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,078

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    You're bees aren't harassing someone 1/8 mile down the road. They might forage on their flowers, but don't have anything to protect that far from the hive.
    Are you sure they aren't pulling you're leg?
    Dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    I honestly can't believe those neighbors made an issue. Even with the smallest bee wherewithal contradicts their claim. I suspect they're dealing with yellow jackets that typically become more aggressive at summer's end and looking for someone to blame. Our newest neighbors three houses down across the street were grinning at my girls visiting their flowering tree.

    I suggest ignoring them as a start. They will quickly understand the benefit your hives create for them if they press the issue with intelligence. Then make a mental note to socialize on a spring afternoon and point out the work your girls are doing on the blooming flowers. Beyond that, bring an extra brew, identify the culprits which are most likely yellow jackets and sniff around for their nest.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Richfield springs,ny,usa
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    I concur with the yellow jacket possibility. Here, the hornets and wasps have been going nuts for the last few weeks. I've gotten at least a dozen calls to come take care of people's bee problem, and it turned out to be yellow jackets. A lot of people can't tell the difference, even if they dared to get close enough, which most are not. I was surprised to find that they have no problem paying me to spray the nests and get rid of them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    I agree: first identify these "bees". See if the neighbors will have you over and point them out to you personally, or maybe take a picture of them. Be prepared to demonstrate that they are not bees (if they indeed are not). Most people think that anything that flies and potentially stings is a bee. I can stand right next to my hive and my bees ignore me. As was pointed out, at the distance your neighbors are from the hive the bees have no reason to be aggressive. Yellow jackets (my hunch as to the culprits), on the other hand, are mean.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    You need to make this neighbor think your the craziest sob on the planet. Nothing on this planet people are more scared of. They would go to more trouble to avoid anything concerning you than they would to cause you trouble. How you convince them of this is up to you. I suggest you start by walking around mumbling to yourself.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    Aerindel, have you done this before?
    Yes, not over bees though. Its too long of a story to recount here but mostly its been over our dogs, road and water access and utility work.

    I've been expecting one of them to complain about my bees but I think they either don't know about them or have decided its not worth starting hostilities again.

    They will quickly understand the benefit your hives create for them if they press the issue with intelligence.
    Of course but that is a big 'If' The majority of people are small minded evil little peasants ruled by superstitions and prejudice. If they where capable of reasonable thought they're wouldn't even be a problem, it could all be settled by a nice conversation over a cup of mead.


    You need to make this neighbor think your the craziest sob on the planet.
    ^^^^This, people with irrational fears are easy to manipulate.

    Goodnees Aerindel! Do you sleep with one eye open? lo
    Nope, thats the whole point. You don't want to have to be constantly on your guard. Its exhausting to live at Defcon 2 all the time. You want to strike back so hard they never think of messing with you again. It took me a long time to learn this lesson. Every time you compromise or back down it just encourages them to go one step further until before you know it they think they can tell you how to live on your own land, what animals you can have, how to drive on your own road etc.

    Its bad enough that the government can tell us how to live in our own homes, its intolerable to let the neighbors do it.
    Last edited by Aerindel; 08-29-2012 at 09:51 PM.

  14. #14
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,708

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
    You want to strike back so hard they never think of messing with you again. It took me a long time to learn this lesson.
    Not sure if you have completed this lesson. Your theory will work, long as you are the toughest kid on the block. Reality and some don't discover it for a while, is there will ALWAYS be somebody come along eventually, who is tougher.

    Ever noticed those tough as gang members running around, looking like, you would think, nobody would ever mess with them? Then take a closer look, so many of them got a heap of teeth missing.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,297

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    1/8 mile = 660 feet = 220 yards, that's more than twice as long as my one acre lot. Heck, even AHB don't work that hard at being ornery -- I know, I kept a dozen colonies of AHB for a little more than a decade.

    I hope you can manage to keep your bees in peace and calm. Just yesterday a yard man who works for one of my neighbors, got my attention over our chain link fence. He'd heard that we kept honey bees, so he wanted to ask if we ever had comb honey available. Despite the fact that he's been working in my neighbors yard for several years now, he hadn't actually noticed our bees (I have about fifty hives, presently), but our neighbor (his employer), was aware we kept them, and he, being extremely fond of comb honey, had to ask. I told him, as soon as I had some to spare, I'd contact him.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    I saw nothing in the original post that would suggest coming out with "weapons ablazing" as some posts seems to suggest.

    Suggest to them that more than likely those are wasps and they should put out wasp traps with meat/cat food in them.

    It sounds like the neighbors are more fearful than aggressive.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rogersville, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    Seriously, I have to go with Dan (aka KQ6AR) and Joseph on this one... There is no way your bees are being aggressive that far from the hive. Even if provoked that far away they would simply leave the area. You would have to squish or hurt one to even get stung.

    Go and visit your neighbor. Take a jar of honey with you, if you have none, locate another beekeeper in your area and buy them one. It will go a long way to neighbor relations, I know from experience. While you are there, check on these "bees", I will almost bet that they are not even bees as Ted (aka Taydeko) mentions above. If they are not bees then work with them to eliminate the problem.

    If after the visit you do suspect they are your bees, then work with your neighbor to show them how gentle the little creatures are and that the only live to pollinate and collect nectar that they turn into that jar of wonderful honey you just brought them. Many people keep bees in New York City, with hundreds of neighbors much closer that 1/8 mile, without incident. In the end if they are your bees and they really are that aggressive (which again I highly doubt), then requeen the hive, this is what the NYC beekeepers do. So there is a cure if your girls are truly out of line.

    On the honey as a gesture of good will... I have a neighbor that is about 1/8 mile from my hives and while out on a walk this spring he expressed his discontent with my bees bothering his humming bird feeders. So, of course I was bummed out because all my other neighbors are just ecstatic that I keep bees. I explained to him that there was not much that I could do as they were finding a leak in his feeder and simply taking advantage of opportunity. But that fixing the leak or buying a new feeder would likely fix the issue. He was less than pleased with my answer and we hadn't talked since. Until.... I extracted in July and took him a jar of my honey as an apology for the bees. To my surprise he says, "hey, you know you were right. I spent a few dollars and bought some new feeders, some good ones, and the bees are no longer bothering my humming birds." So, I gave him the honey and said that is great, let me know when you run out and I will bring you some more. Now, this guy and his wife both go out of their way to wave to me as they drive by or pass on the road and she has walked over and wanted to see & talk to me about the bees since. Previous to this interaction, we had never even really met and I have lived here for 8 years.

    So, Aerindel, you seriously need to consider being nicer to your neighbors! For as they say, "You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar."
    Jeff - like me on facebook
    See my bees @ www.ozarkshoney.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Parker, CO
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    WOW!

    Quite a fervent response to my query. Glad to have an engaging topic :-)

    The neighbors are cool. I brew so they drink my beer. They have come over to see the bees and are mildly impressed by yet another of my hobbies. They want to have a BBQ over the Labor Day weekend and want to ensure guests aren't harrassed.

    I went out to their deck yesterday. There were a few bees drinking at one of their planters. I sat down and one of them hovered near me. It was late (7PM) so probably not prime time.

    I mentioned that bees want water and sugar and sometimes body lotions. She'll remove her plants for the weekend. We'll see what happens.

    I won't be preparing for war, just a way to placate them and me both.

    Thanks,

    BannonB

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,297

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    I provide water for my bees, at my Koi pond, evaporative cooler pads, several plastic buckets with floats, and drip irrigation, they use them all. I'm sure if any of my neighbors have exposed water sources, they'll be using those too. They seem to like a variety of different water sources. Having nearby water certainly doesn't prevent them from choosing to use any and all sources accessible to them.

    What you describe, sounds like honey bee curiosity, but, of course, non-beekeepers feel threatened by any approach of a honey bee, sorta like when someone pulls out a loaded handgun - the comfort level suddenly drops off a cliff.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,708

    Default Re: Neighbor being bothered by my new bees

    Bees will continue to hover around for a day or two after water is removed. She should remove the water a couple days before the barbeque.

    People who don't understand bees sometimes have a (to us), exasperating talent for getting themselves stung, even by bees that want nothing to do with them. A long term solution would be best, either in the form of more education for them, or bee proofing of the water.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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