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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Greencastle, PA., USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Should I get Bees

    I want to get a couple hives of bees but my wife is allergic to bees since the last time she got stung.
    We have 16 acres half wooded, The wooded area is L shaped with two hay fields, the house in about the middle off to the side.
    I'm not interested in the perfect crime

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,740

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Welcome, 2B. You know you're asking a bunch of beekeepers whether or not to get bees, right? Let me be the first to say- Do it!
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Why are you considering beekeeping?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by cg3 View Post
    Welcome, 2B. You know you're asking a bunch of beekeepers whether or not to get bees, right? Let me be the first to say- Do it!
    I'll be the second to say it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Greencastle, PA., USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    I'm interested in beeskeeping as a hobby only, not to get rid of my wife.
    So far I've read, The Backyard Beekeeper-Kim Flottum, The Practical Beekeeper Vol.1, Vol.2 coming-M. Bush, First Lessons in Beekeeping-Keiths Delaplane, in that order.
    My concern is my wife is allergic to bees.
    Should this be a concern?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Well, chances are there are honeybees near you (and of course your wife) whether you are keeping them or not. My question is, when you say she is allergic, do you mean a true allergy with systemic reaction (for instance, a sting on the foot can lead to throat swelling, difficulty breathing, etc), or do you mean she has a bad reaction in another way (stung on foot and foot swells terribly and hurts, etc)? And, are you certain it was a honeybee that stung her (not a wasp or similar)? If the reaction is a systemic allergy reaction that could be life threatening, I would discuss the risks with her and see how she feels. Given that you have 16 acres, unless she is actively participating in working with the bees, I can't see that she would interact with them anymore than she does anytime she is outdoors. Normal precautions (such as not walking barefoot outdoors) should be plenty to ensure that she isn't stung.

    Also, my husband hasn't been stung since he was a child, I haven't been stung in many years, and my 3 year old has never been stung. Since we keep bees and live in a rural area, our doctor offered us a prescription for an Epi-Pen to keep on hand in case anyone here (or visiting here) ever has a true emergency reaction (unable to breathe). Your wife probably already has one, but if not she should get one.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Greencastle, PA., USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Allergic as in using a EpiPen.
    She got stung last summer on the back of her hand when in the garden. This is the first time she had a reaction.
    She had to go to Urgent Care. Then they gave her something and she had a reaction to that if I'm correct.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,033

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    You will probably increase her chances of getting stung as there will be more bees in the garden, but overall I do not equate with having bees on a property to getting stung more.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Greencastle, PA., USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    It's not much of a garden, 2 raised garden 4'X12' each and some berries. I pick the berries about a quart or so a year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    So the question is "does keeping bees increase the chances of my wife having a bad reaction to a bee sting enough to not keep bees?"

    I would think there is a better chance she would get stung when you bring the frames into the house to extract or when she hangs around your unused equipment. I bet that if she stays away from your hives, you extract or work old equipment away from the house, and you make sure there are no tag alongs when taking off your suit, she'll be fine. She should wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt when working the garden anyway if allergic to stings. Ask your doctor what kind of medication she should available and get his opinion about what her risks are.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,740

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Having a bunch of bees around has been much less intrusive than I had originally anticipated. I've got 15 colonies within 100 yards of the house and rarely have them in the house or patio. I occasionally get them riled up good and my wife hasn't been stung. (Can't say that about the dog or I.)
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    I would like to say "go for it!", but your wife's safety has to be a consideration.

    I am still a unclear as to how serious your wife's reaction was. Did the doctor say it was life threatening? If so, I would not get bees. The risk is too great.

    It is possible to get treatments to reduce her allergic reaction, perhaps you should consider that?
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Hendersonville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    I have 7 hives that are 50' from my back deck and I haven't noticed an increase in bee activity on the deck at all. I'd say go for it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Here's the scoop. There are bees even if you never go purchase them yourself. They might be native bees. Yellow Jackets. Hornet. They might be honeybees, wild or managed - but in any case, if you got flowers, chance are you have bees, etc. visiting.

    Now you have 16 acres. A nice amount of space where if you put your bees away from the house, they're going to go fly all over. Just like those bees do that you don't have control over. What would it bee like if your neighbor put some bees on his property on his property line? You might see a few more bees. You might not notice a difference at all. If you aren't putting them within 150 feet of the house, I can't imagine you're increasing the risk already present.

    I suppose it would also depend on how many hives you're wanting.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    600

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Get em !!! If you wanna plan the perfect crime I think banana oil is similar to the bee alarm pheromone just saying

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Obviously your wife's safety is number one, and I'm not going to say "Yes, get them!" and then find out she did end up getting stung. I will say, however, I started beekeeping last year, and on 3-4 occasions I've seen what I was fairly confident were "my bees" up in the yard. I had never seen a honeybee in the yard before I got them, but we have a TON of flowers around our house. I have my hives 400-500 yards from the house, which it sounds like you could easily keep them at least as far from your house as that. Overall, I wouldn't say she is much more likely to get stung if you do add a few hives.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    So most of us would say do it. I would say before you get bit by the bug get into it slowly. Keeping bee's is worse then a gambling habit. You keep getting more weather you like it or not. These thing are almost as bad as rabbits. You need to keep doubling and before you know it you are at 150 and have to double again. Geez it never stops.

    Anyway welcome to the addition. Go slow.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteBridwell View Post
    I have 7 hives that are 50' from my back deck and I haven't noticed an increase in bee activity on the deck at all. I'd say go for it.
    Met a guy in the housing development on the other side of the hill from me has noticed bee's that hey had never seen before. So lots of people will notice the increase if even a little.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by To bee or not to bee View Post
    I want to get a couple hives of bees but my wife is allergic to bees since the last time she got stung.
    We'll have 16 acres half wooded, The wooded area is L shaped with two hay fields, the house in about the middle off to the side.
    I'm not interested in the perfect crime
    What does your wife say? With the sting she already got she must know there is risk either way.

    With the list of reading you are doing it is obvious you have the 'bug' already. I have two hives in my backyard new last year and other than when I mowed by them and originally hived them I didn't really notice an increase in bee activity. I think she is the only one who can really give you the go-ahead.

    Good Luck!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen O. View Post
    What does your wife say? ... I think she is the only one who can really give you the go-ahead.
    Exactly.
    I can tell you that in the 8 years I've had bees in the backyard, my wife & daughters haven't been stung by honey bees (have been stung by wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, etc), but, they're okay with me having bees. If your wife is uncomfortable with boxes containing tens of thousands of stinging insects in the yard, you might consider another hobby.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Should I get Bees

    Before I got bees our yard was full of wasps and hornets. having the bees around actually has reduced the number of these other more aggressive stinging insects. wasps will gather around the entrances to the hives gathering up the dead bees. this tends to keep them from being everywhere else. Nobody has gotten stung by my bees unless they are working at the hive.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

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