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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Posts
    303

    Default To tell or not to tell?

    OK, first, I can legally have bees. But my angst is if I tell my neighbors, that one of them may dislike the idea and would argue against me having them. I don't like the idea of not being a good neighbor - but I don't like the idea of someone telling me what I can do either.

    ...but bees, since they don't just stay on my property when foraging or swarming are beyond my property boundaries (FYI: I would do anything I can to prevent swarming).

    I have an acre of land and have neighbors to the North, East, South and West. Where I would keep the bees is 65,30,73,362 feet away from the neighbor's property lines (respectively) and 187,245,233,342 feet away from each of their houses.

    Should I let them know ahead of time? Or should I keep them and let them know next fall with some honey?

    Thank you for your opinion!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    It would be nice if you had a 6' fence or shrubbery between the hives and their houses. It gets them to fly above head level to go out and forage.

    IMO, introduce them to the idea with a jar of your honey.
    If you think anything organic is good for you, go drink some organic solvents.
    geek, learning how to be a beek

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,334

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    My answer will depend on whether the neighbors can see the location where the hives will be. If there is no line of sight, then there is no reason to tell the neighbors. By the time those bees reach the neighbors property lines, they will be dispersed well enough that they might as well be invisible.

    Make sure you offer your bees an attractive source of water close to you hives. In this case, attractive does not necessarily mean human quality drinkable water. Bees seem to prefer water that has a distinct smell/taste. This might include chlorinated pool water, compost pile runoff, and even water in a "muddy" cow pasture (and all the fluids that that term implies.) This is especially important if your neighbors have pools in their yards, or fountains, etc.
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Long Beach, Ca
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    I have a hive on a regular sized city lot. It is about 70' to the nearest public sidewalk and about 70' from the nearest house (but 10' from mine). So far, I don't think anybody could care less. There is a feral hive in my neighbors back yard, and until a couple months ago another in a tree trunk directly on the street (tree got cut down). My bees have to get to 6' at a minimum to leave my yard, and I don't even notice them in my own vegetable garden. I wouldn't sweat it at those distances.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,609

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    And your question is what?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    You could tell them to stay off your land. If they show up, the do so at their own risk.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    Im in the same boat and I chose not to tell, although I have built a 6' privacy fence all the way around my property. The funny thing is, is that the one neighbor I did tell who lives 6 houses away, and is the one I give free honey to, complained to me on Sunday because MY bees were eating from her humming bird feeder.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MN, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    I live in a small residential community just outside Minneapolis. I dropped a single 10-frame in our front perennial bed this summer -- 10 feet from the street and 20 feet from the park trail that is just east of our lot. I never said a word to anyone about it, and not a single neighbor has ever said a word. I will say, however, that all our neighbors benefit from our garden and subsequent canning, so they are all likely expecting honey at some point. Which they're all going to get. I think it's really just a function of knowing your neighbors.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    I bet they will guess what is going on when they see you walking around with a veil

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    I have a typical suburban yard (house on 0.3 acre plot) where I keep my bees for now--the farm property has black bear and is a 2hr drive away). They are against the back fence w/ yew growing between and behind. I didn't tell any neighbors for a year and they were none the wiser even though you could see the hives from the street if you were looking into the back yard.

    I told them this year while I was handing out honey and asked all the neighbors w/ pools if they had a problem last year. Not a one noticed any bees. One neighbor even saw a hive swarming and thought about telling me that some bees may have taken up residence on my property (they are behind me and couldn't see the hive for their privacy fence)!

    Anyway, they are all fine w/ it and enjoyed the honey. Even offered to buy some next year when I have enough to sell. One neighbor may want to keep bees and I may help and keep a hive in their yard for a small fee if they don't want to work it themselves.

    If you know your neighbor's personalities you might better be able to gauge the reactions.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,664

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    If it's legal..... run with it.
    Will it stop you from having bees if the neighbors express their opinions either way?
    Didn't think so.

    Side note: As a builder/remodeler, I have a hundred new customers every year. Once they find out that I'm a beekeeper as well, most if not all, ask me to place my hives on their property (mostly rural). Needless to say I have at least 10 hives built for next spring. The goal is to have 20 more built by spring.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,721

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    Quote Originally Posted by rniles View Post
    187,245,233,342 feet away from each of their houses.
    187 billion feet is plenty of room
    Go to Heaven for the climate, go to Hell for the company. -Mark Twain

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,334

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    Quote Originally Posted by rniles View Post
    I have an acre of land and have neighbors to the North, East, South and West. Where I would keep the bees is 65,30,73,362 feet away from the neighbor's property lines (respectively) and 187,245,233,342 feet away from each of their houses.
    OK, I am just having a little fun here, in light of cg3's comment. Assuming the two series of numbers apply in sequence to your four neighbors, then the fourth neighbor's property line is 362 feet away, but his house is 342 feet away. In that case, 20 feet of your neighbor's house is on your property! If that is true, you have bigger problems than what that neighbor thinks of your bees!

    (I sure like using that icon.)
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    I checked with my neighbors before I put hives in, but that's just me. I could have put them a good distance away if it had been a problem, but I think the neighbor they are closest too spends more time watching them than I do, since he had figured out where they were all going last time I talked to him.

    Everyone else thinks it's a great idea, and I do hand out honey. Way too much to eat all of it and stay healthy after all.

    Peter

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Platteville, WI
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    I have two neigbors. One is very friendly - the other NEVER talks, waves, or makes any attempt to contact me at all. I told the friendly neighbor and he likes the idea. I haven't told the other guy. The friendly neighbor will be able to see my hives, if he looks hard enough (through some bushes and trees).

    I also live rather close to a practice field of a school, but my hives are over 150 feet from that property line, and hidden from thier sight.

    No complaints = no problem.
    "Life will find a way - it always finds a way." -Jurassic Park (MOVIE/BOOK)
    USDA Zone 5a

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
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    756

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    I did not ask, tell or announce to my neighbours. I went out of my way to paint them the same color as my house and put them between the weeping cherry tree and my house in the landscape. Even if you know they are there you have to look for them. It was more of a personal choice, I felt I had nothing to gain by telling them and everything to lose. Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission (since it is legal and right). I still don’t know if they know I have 5 hives or not.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    Ask permission to exercise your rights? IMHO, not a good idea. The barking lets me know when neighbors get a pet. Why should bees be different?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    761

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    do you tell your neighbors when you get up ? or when you get a goldfish ? or when you eat dinner? if you answer No to any of those then it is NONE of there business what you do on your land

    and if they do raise a stink for some odd reason just hit them back with having wasp and wild bees on their land !!!!
    just keep the bees and they will be fine - they might even like the free pollination

    have fun out on the island -- Get to know Mr Neel - he will help you out lots
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    493

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    I like these responses I was a bit concerned because my neighbors have a pool. After I got quite a few hives the bees were coming to my hot tub despite there being a water source close by. This year I put an automatic sprinkler in front of the hives that goes for 15 minutes every morning and keeps the water sources by the hives fresh and it completely solved the bees going to my hot tub and surely has kept them off the neighbor’s pool.

    I agree with Rader Sidetrack about the water source and if you can keep them hidden from sight with a bush or fence etc. That would be good but not so hidden that they are shaded much. I wouldn't bring it up but I would be responsible about it. I would register with the department of agriculture so you have the license to have them. Here in PA it is inexpensive and good for two years. This will allow for the bee inspector to come and make sure your bees aren't diseased and maybe teach you some things about beekeeping in your area during the visit.

    Eventually people will see you in your bee suit and you will be caught though. When it has happened to me it has always been positive. People want honey and to ask questions about bees and stuff.

    I would suggest you get 2 hives With 2 it will give you a reference if one is having issues and if you lose a hive for some reason you will still have one to move forward with. I really like beekeeping and have been lucky that rather than neighbors or people trying to shut me down or complain other people have oppositely been real cool about it and asked questions and I gave them honey etc. Hopefully your experience will bee positive

    I've only been stung right by the hives or by a bee that was on me after an inspection that I didn't notice that was crawling on me after working the hives.... Actually When I made bees queen less purposefully this spring to rear a few queens and I had bothered them too much they were agitated till they had a queen and sent some bees to follow me to try to sing me but that was a very specific situation I created. None of my neighbors or visitors to my house have ever been stung in 3 years now since I started. My mother in law is allergic and she comes over and looks at them from like 15 feet or so. The workers that you're neighbors might see on their plants won't hurt them but rather help their gardens.

    If I had to bet, I would bet it will bee fine
    MS Bee.jpg

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: To tell or not to tell?

    My hives are 8 feet away from my neighbors house and I have not told them although I think they know based on the location of their trampoline. 8)

    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

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