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

    Default City Bees - pros/cons?

    Hello all,
    I have the opportunity to put some hives in town this spring, and I am wondering what the pros and cons of having bees in town. The place I would put them is on a property whose owner I did a nice cutout for last spring. The hive that I cut out was a swarm that had moved in there about a month and a half before, and already had about 15 frames worth of brand new comb with 25-30 lbs of honey. It's still one of my best hives today. That was in late May that I did that cutout, and it had quite a substantial amout of stores already. Should I take advantage of this opportunity? Thanks in advance for the input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: City Bees - pros/cons?

    I bought a home last May and the yard is set up nicely for backyard hives. It was a requisite while house hunting.

    My other hives are 12 miles away and didn't know the daily goings on of the colonies. I've learned so much now that I have some hives on my property. I've saved weaker colonies that previously lost a few because I couldn't get out there often enough.
    I get a different flavor of honey from my backyard bees as the others are in a rural area, and I think maybe more variety of nectars in town.

    Cons. Well take the other day when one of the hive stands broke and hive was tipped forward and the medium moved half off deep. Lesson: do not use an end table for a hive stand unless it is temporary for light hive. This one has gotten strong over the summer.
    I didn't have the bottom board attached either. I put on my jacket and gloves, went out and first moved super over onto cinder blocks. The deep was tipped forward with entrance on the ground. I lifted, oh man at least 50 lbs and had to move slow, got it up on a stand next to where I was then going to put the bottom board and get them set up in their new spot not more than 2 feet away. The were ticked off! oops, no smoker going. (I was in a hurry as my grandkids were due to be over in about 10 minute).
    I had bees all over my ankles and some stings to lower legs and ankles. I stopped and quickly walked away with at least 20-30 bees following. I couldn't walk into the front yard because I didn't want to lead the angry bees out there with kids coming over, and my pooch out there too. Walked around the back yard a bit and then went into the back door patio, some bees following. I must have taken about 10 stings. Called my son and told him to take a 30 minute detour. Went out with smoker and covered ankles, got it all back together and they were much calmer. Kids came, they got inside ok, then we saw my pooch take a sting to her face.

    I have an empty lot on the side of the house where the bees are, trees and shrub line back yard. The house on the other side was vacant until recently, and they seem to be ok with the bees. I have the hives on the backside of the shed which is just before the tree/shrub line. None are really out in view unless you walk into my back yard.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Atlanta GA
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: City Bees - pros/cons?

    I think the pros are you can check and watch your bees daily.....I love doing that.

    The cons are the neighbors might freak out. Some people just don't understand bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    696

    Default Re: City Bees - pros/cons?

    Cons are definitely neighbors freaking out, kids or pets getting stung, city bee ordinances, etc.

    Pros, I walk out my back door and look at the hive and it puts a smile on my face. I only have 1 hive in town the rest are on our farm.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
    Facebook

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,923

    Default Re: City Bees - pros/cons?

    How big is the property? I think forage would probably be better, but the cons are people giving you grief about ANY bee/sting problems they have if they know you have bees close by.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: City Bees - pros/cons?

    Pro is longer nectar season because of watered flowers and daily access to monitor.

    Negatives are aggresive bees after an inspection(mid summer to fall), bothering swimming pools for water, swarming and where does swarm go to, vandalism.

    Suggest placing a water supply out, taking extra precaution against swarming such as 7-10 day inspections and providing space, checkerboarding and ventilation and removing excess brood to NUCs(providing brood space) and placing hives in a residents fenced(6 ft wood fence) back yard, bee hive away from property lines and entrance on opposite side of hive to fence, bottom entrances or entrances just above brood( there can be a lot of irate bees in the air when inspecting a hive with a top entrance).
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater,TN
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: City Bees - pros/cons?

    Ben I live in a city (historic district) and although not a big city the houses are close together. I have a 5 foot fence around my backyard and I had 9 hives back there all this year. My main bee yard is about 15 miles away. Most of my neighbors didn't even know I had bees back there, the main thing is you have to make sure the bees you put there have good temperment. One positive thing about a city setting is all the flower gardens, if there is a good supply of water nearby that is also a good plus. If not much water around and one of the neighbors has a pool they will probably be pretty upset because the bees will drink there. Personally I think it is a great thing because of the pollination benefits to the greenery but a lot of people are scared of bees.
    Major

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bryan, TX
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: City Bees - pros/cons?

    My city hives produced twice as much honey as my country bees this year.

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