bees vs people who dont like bees
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  1. #1
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    May 2010
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    Default bees vs people who dont like bees

    i have 4 hives on my property... I have built 50 hives this winter and plan on making more hives... from splits, packages, swarms, etc... I wont try to make weak splits, i just was bored over the winter and now have 50 deeps, bottoms and tops... and frames..

    I have a 400' wide x 7 acres deep piece of land. On this land, 1/3rd is a wedding facility. You can see our gardens at www.avalonweddingsbcs.com

    the question is, the 4 hives are 200 odd yards from the parking lot. THey are way in the back... yesterday up at the front of the property i noticed bees buzzing around while talking to a potential bride. SHe freaked at one bee...

    Last year wasnt a problem, but what do you think about 8 hives, 10, 15, 20, whatever, about 200 yards away from a wedding area where 200-300 people hang out in the evening for outdoor weddings... bees dont bother me at all, of course, unless they sting me...

    we have 25,000 feet of wildflowers we plant every year, 350 rosebushes, etc, etc.. so flowers are concentrated around the gazebo, but there is land everywhere with flowers on it around my property..

    just wondering if im getting into trouble...

    if i wind up with 8 hives this year, im happy,,.. if i get 16, im extatic... but i have lots of hives for 2012...

    d

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Leominster, MA USA
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    Your property is gorgeous!

    In dealing with the public (especially brides - even the sane can become crazy while planning a wedding) you should be upfront about the bees. I would make the bees a part of the whole thing (green/eco wedding focus) and charge extra for the added ambiance

    If you didn't have hives on your property and a bee flew by it wouldn't be your problem but if you are hosting the bees and not informing your potential customers ahead of time you will most definitely end up with a problem at some point....even if someone is stung by a yellow jacket or wasp. Also, a bee friendly bride may have guests with allergy issues.

    Best to be honest when people are paying for your services.

    Ramona

  4. #3
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    Quote Originally Posted by avalonweddingsbcs View Post
    what do you think about 8 hives, 10, 15, 20, whatever, about 200 yards away from a wedding area where 200-300 people hang out in the evening for outdoor weddings...
    Straight up, wouldn't recommend it. Not everybody is like us & in a crowd that big there is going to be at least one bee paranoid person. They will be the one that flaps their arms round and gets stung.

    See it like this. Some people keep a large dog that barks at strangers. They love their dog. But other people might find it scary. The owner of the dog has to understand the other peoples point of view, rather than inflict their dog on everybody regardless.

    In a perfect world, everybody would love bees. But it's not a perfect world.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  5. #4
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    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    As long as you arenít violating any kind of city or township ordnance, you are in your rights to keep bees. You could minimize incidences with the dull witted by facing hives in a direction so the flight path is in a different direction from the simple minded people.
    The bride was probably really swatting at a fly but just donít know the difference.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    It would be a dull-witted business owner that would let his occupation suffer just to exercise his rights to keep bees on his business property. The original poster, I'm sure, is not so simple-minded as to mistake flies for his bees. If he said bees were buzzing around a potential client, then I would assume that he knows what he saw and hence, the need to assess the impact his hobby may have on his business.

    Perhaps you might look for a nearby outyard to park the bulk of your hives. You might try keeping a single hive or two year-round at home and perhaps new splits until they build up or any nucs that you might make to overwinter. See how they behave over the season.

    Very nice photos and a gardens by the way. My daughter was married outdoors at a wedding facility like yours in New York State in late October. She timed it so the sun would be low in the sky and directly behind them so the light would filter through the fall-colored leaves as they said their vows. When she was planning it, I helped her with sunset tables and charts but thought she would have a one in a million chance of the weather being exactly right. Of course she knew what she wanted, would accept no less and so the weather had no choice but to co-operate.

    Wayne

  7. #6
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    just one bee paranoid people i wouldnt care about.. they annoy me anyway (The people, not the bee..)

    Even if a guest got stung by a bee, how can you prove it's one of mine... More than likely it's going to be a weaver bee, cause i'm a mile from one of their queenyards, so there are a lot more bees around than i could ever have in my own yard...

    my question is... are the bees going to spread out more in the neighborhood, or am i going to have a lot more bees around the gazebo than is necessary...

    I've been to the weavers place and saw one or two bees around the office... that would be acceptable... but 1000-5000 bees around my gazebo would be slightly annoying..

    We have trees and bushes (crepe myrtles and coral vines, pear and other fruit trees) that, when in bloom, are dripping with bees, and they are right next to the gazebo... I just dont want swarms in the brides flower bouquet..

  8. #7
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    Sep 2008
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    Paoli, IN
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    The two things that I think about:
    1. people sweating-when I'm working out in the garden I always have bees coming for a lick.
    2. perfumes-if I'm out and chatting with wife or whoever. The bees are interested in the person who smells "good".

  9. #8
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    May 2002
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    Quote Originally Posted by avalonweddingsbcs View Post
    my question is... are the bees going to spread out more in the neighborhood, or am i going to have a lot more bees around the gazebo than is necessary...
    I have permits for eight hives on my landscape corporation yard, but often maintain 42 hives there. I see bees flying over the front gate when I pull in, I see bee poop (a lot) on cars a block away, I see bees flying when I come over the freeway overpass two blocks away, I see my fruit trees so heavily pollinated that the hundreds of fruits are tiny and the tree is breaking limbs. I have a neighbor down the street (a Mechanic) complain of the spotting on the cars and bees resting on the cars when it is very hot. I have had a swarm freak out the neighbors.
    The more hives you have close to the gazebo, the more passing bees there will be visiting the flowers. The day someone gets stung, or a swarm flies through a service, you will regret keeping bees there.
    I keep bees for famous person. His barefoot daughter got stung on the foot, by a bee visiting a clover flower, while I was there pulling honey. It was a very uncomfortable situation which luckily blew over with no blame.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    I recommend against keeping ANY hives there. The first wedding guest who gets stung and ends up being allergic, you are looking at a lawsuit. I donít think thatís fair, but thatís life. Even if the bride knows, and agrees, depending on the local laws, you may have failed in your "due diligence" to keep the guests safe.

    Dave

  11. #10
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    Even if a guest got stung by a bee, how can you prove it's one of mine...

    They don't have to - you have to prove it was not your bee, and you have to prove you did everything you could to prevent them from being stung.

    In a court of law, you are innocent until proven guilty - but this is not what you are dealing with here. You will be dealing with a court of public opinion - a guilty verdict is instantly pronounced, and even if you can appeal and prove your innocence, that innocence will likely never be made public and you will have to live with the stigma of being guilty despite being innocent.

    By keeping bees there, are you willing to never have another wedding there? Are you willing to lose that money, just to be able to have those bees?
    By keeping bees, are you willing to lose everything you own? If you get a sue happy guest, even if you win in court, you may go bankrupt fighting the court case.

    If you do still keep bees, make sure that NO ONE will EVER see a single hive or piece of bee equipment. Build a walled enclosure to hide the hives, far from nosy visitors, and keep it locked up.

    It would be MUCH wiser to keep your hives on your neighbor's property. Odds are, you have a neighbor you get along with. The added distance to the neighbor's property will be of little inconvenience to you. If you do have a guest complain about bees flying, you can always blame that neighbor down the road who has bees - you've checked, but there isn't anything you can do because it's legal for them to have bees.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    If you put a six foot fence around the hives you'll resolve any "flight path" issues. If you advertise the bees as part of the "green" aspect, as Ramona suggested, it might even be enough of a plus to counter the "minus" side and eliminate anyone being able to pretend they didn't know there might be bees.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  13. #12
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    If you must, move the bees to the farthest point from where guest will be.

    Do an 8 foot wood fence. People can look over a 6 footer thus putting their face right into the flight path. Put a locked gate with a sign to a 'service area, staff only'. Keep it locked!

    Plant a flowering vine that can cover the fence. Make it a property divider.

    Build up the hive count slowly. When you notice issues cut the count back by 25%.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  14. #13
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    Feb 2008
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    berkley county, WV
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    I will add this: imagine the absolutely worse case you can possibly think of, multiply that by 10, and ask yourself if you can live with the results of this. Maybe you can't think of some way to make it worse, but someone will. Is the cost of it going to be too much for you to handle?

    My suggestion, Let the prospective clients know you have bees on the property to pollinate your vines, "They grow better next year if they are polinated this year" type remark. Keep your hive count down where you can close them "ALL" in on the days you have a occasion. Have someone from their group verify that all "your" hives are closed up before the guests arrive.

    then if anything happens, you did everything you could before hand. and you have a witness from their group. If there are bees around, they had to come from someone elses hives. Make the plans now, don't wait until something happens and wish you had done it. Someone will make a bigger deal out of it than you thought possible.
    welcome to your new addiction!!

  15. #14
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    If you want to keep bees on the same property you do business, i would be searching the avenues of protecting myself legally! By hiding the fact that you have bees isnt gonna help! i would have a sign at the front entrance stating that there will be honey bees in the area for those who are allergic. The grounds have alot of flowers and where there is flowers you will have bees! You go to an amusement park and before you get on a ride you have to read the rules! I would set it up the same way to cover yourself! In this day and age people sue for any reason and you dont want to give them a reason thats for sure! I would go with a tall fence to help the flight pattern, keep them as far away as possible and have a sign specifying that there will be honey bees from time to time because of all the flowers on the property! Thats what i would do if you wanted to keep the bees on the same land you do business! IMO

  16. #15
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    Imagine hundreds of men and women with perfumes and cologne.... some highly allergic... or a swarm decides to issue during a ceremony..... or an inquisitve child escapes his/her parents....? Not worth the risk! OMTCW

  17. #16
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    How about a new spin, file a complaint stating that the wedding hall is to close too your apiary. And it interferes with your right to farm.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Bean View Post
    How about a new spin, file a complaint stating that the wedding hall is to close too your apiary. And it interferes with your right to farm.
    That would be a new spin, complaining about yourself.

    You do realize that the wedding facility and the beehives are owned by the same person (the original poster,) don't you?

    Wayne

  19. #18
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    First hand,I had people over for a party. The bee hives were way a way from
    the company. One bee got the sent of a bee product a guest was wearing, skin cream, an flew in the hair of the guest , and she freaked, an took off running around the party swating her head with her hands till she got stung. The mood of the party changed quickly. With her sitting with an ice pack on her head, an a line of well wishers. It took five pounds of honey to resolve this one. Good thing she was a friend and a good sport. You might not be so lucky.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    Do you cater your events? You could make a selling point products of the hive, cut comb appetizers or honey drizzled fruit for example. Market it that as an aspect of the event. I would also inform everyone, in brochure or sign or what every works for you, then buy the best liability insurance you can.

    That or get access to another separate location other than your business and do all your beekeeping there.

    Dan
    "...fascists divide themselves into two categories: fascists and antifascists" Ennio Flaiano

  21. #20
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    Default Re: bees vs people who dont like bees

    I'm imagining a picture-perfect day, an early spring wedding, a beautiful bride, a white gown, cleansing flights, ......

    You get the picture.

    Wayne

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