Unhappy Neighbors
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Anderson, Texas
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    28

    Default Unhappy Neighbors

    Morning, All!

    We have recently been approached by our neighbors concerning the location of our hives. They are scared and want them moved - which we think is absurd due to the fact that they have 80+ acres and we have 17 - and the hives are located at the very back of the properties away from all structures...
    Anyway - to keep the peace we have compromised by agreeing to move our 4 hives a maximum of three feet way from the fence line, and erect a barrier to alter their flight pattern.
    My question is simple - how far away can I place the barrier?
    Where the hives are located now is PERFECT, and our ladies are so very happy and thriving. I don't want to alter the yard too much... Can I place the barrier at the fence line - the hives 15' away - and still successfully alter their flight? Or does it need to be right up on the hives?

    Any help is appreciated!

    (Oh, the barrier that we chose to use is a 6' tall 15' wide bamboo screen).

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
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    2,811

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    The books say it can be as close as 4 ft. My bushes are less than a foot away from the hive. The bees come out and go right up without any problem. Same thing when they come back with a full load.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Anderson, Texas
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    But can it be further away? I don't want to "close off" my yard if I don't have to.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Mondamin, Iowa
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    309

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    I hope this move appeases your neighbors but my experiences are that when dealing with neighbors that bring forth a concern based out of a emotional response, that it will only satisfy them for a while. Then the next thing you know you are reliving the story about "Giving a mouse a cookie."
    Make sure they will leave you alone about the bees if you promise to move them BEFORE you move them.
    Good luck.
    https://www.facebook.com/reapingselfreliance
    Number one killer of bees are beekeepers who wont read any bee books.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    2,514

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    Short answer, yes. Better question, why are your neighbors concerned? Have they had problems or is someone deathly scared of bees? How long have you had the bees there? I'm all for keeping the peace with neighbors so I'd compromise as well if the request is reasonable. Make sure to give them honey when you harvest, make sure they have a water source that doesn't involve your neighbor and minimize swarming.

    I had some neighbors (1/2 to 1 acre lots) who were a little concerned about me keeping bees when I first started almost 10 years ago. Ironically some commented later that they're surprised they never see them though they know hives are yards away from their homes. The concern died down years ago and is now nothing more than, "I'm out of honey, when are you harvesting again?"
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Monroe County, PA, USA
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    Quote Originally Posted by MizAmberLea View Post
    Morning, All!

    We have recently been approached by our neighbors concerning the location of our hives. They are scared and want them moved - which we think is absurd due to the fact that they have 80+ acres and we have 17 - and the hives are located at the very back of the properties away from all structures...
    Anyway - to keep the peace we have compromised by agreeing to move our 4 hives a maximum of three feet way from the fence line, and erect a barrier to alter their flight pattern.
    My question is simple - how far away can I place the barrier?
    Where the hives are located now is PERFECT, and our ladies are so very happy and thriving. I don't want to alter the yard too much... Can I place the barrier at the fence line - the hives 15' away - and still successfully alter their flight? Or does it need to be right up on the hives?

    Any help is appreciated!

    (Oh, the barrier that we chose to use is a 6' tall 15' wide bamboo screen).
    First are your hives a 'maximum of 3 feet' from the fence line or 15?? You mention both. Some areas have 'set back' rules for ag. structures. Are hives structures? I am not sure but personally I keep them within our townships set back limit (30 foot for front yard and 15 on all sides). Your neighbor does know that the 'barrier' is for them not the bees, right???

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    You can have the barrier pretty close to the hives, I've got some about 3 feet away and the bees just corkscrew up 6+ feet and are gone. Local regulations require the flyway barrier be at least six feet high and extend at least 10 feet beyond the hives on each end of the colony (If the hives aren't at least 25 feet off the property line). If you are closer and the barrier doesn't extend well beyond the end of the hives, the barrier may be somewhat ineffective.

    It also isn't clear - did you place them at the neighbors property line with an unobstructed flight path into the neighbors body and face if they were standing on their own property? If that's the case, I'd say they have a legitimate complaint.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,135

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    My home yard is at the end of a long stretch of property....probably 100 feet. The entrances face towards that long stretch. At the other end of the long stretch is my neighbors property and pool. My home and barn is on one side and there are very tall trees on the other. Sometimes, the bees leave the hive and fly nearly straight up to get over the trees. Other times, they fly straight out and level to the ground about 6' in the air and follow that long stretch until I can't see them any longer. Same when they come back. If I stand in front of the hives, I can sometimes see them many yards out around 6 or 8 feet in the air. They put on the brakes and drop in at the last minute.

    If you put a piece of fence directly near the hives, obviously the bees will have to clear it to fly in or out. If you put the barrier further out, they'll still have to clear it one way or the other. My experience is that they won't clear it and then drop back down unless they intend to forage there. They'll clear it and stay at that height or higher until they have a need to drop down (re-entering the hive or seeking forage).

    I would suggest something taller than 6 feet. It's really not much higher than they might fly without the barrier. I would also guess that closer to the hive is better since getting them up sooner rather than later means there's less bees to see from your neighbors vantage point.

    Just my thoughts.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    1,537

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    Before making any promises, I would draw out a plan, diagram and written description, then review it carefully. You would not want to promise to make changes which would be detrimental to your bees. You don't want to create a cold zone, wind tunnel, or all day shade.
    If you can't get them to sign off on a reasonable plan and end up in court, you can tell the Judge you have been trying to compromise. An oral agreement is rarely even worth the paper it was not written on.

    Good luck
    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Rutherford Co. NC
    Posts
    549

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    Give them water sources and add a salt lick under a shelter. If you bave 17 acres do your bees really have to be oy a few feet from the property line?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Anderson, Texas
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    We've had these bees since the beginning of May, respectively. Starting with one and we now have four.
    Last Sunday, while conducting inspections on all of our hives, the neighbors drove up on their ATV (parking 20-50 yards away) and walked towards the fence. At about 20 feet away, she aggressively requested that we move the hives. (we were in full suits with a hive wide open - frame in hand, and she rolls up in a t-shirt and shorts).
    We were stunned at her demeanor.
    She said that the bees "swarm" them when they mow during the day. She said "they are like that", pointing to the crowd of bees buzzing around us at the moment. I asked her if she had been stung or chased, she said no. I tried to explain to her that she was mowing through their flight pattern - NOT SWARMING.
    She wouldn't hear it. Then she proceeds to tell us about the 3rd generation farmer who was killed last week when he disturbed an Africanized hive. She said they are scared.

    We just stood there in silence. She asked us what kind of bees we had, and if it would be too much trouble to move them. I quickly answered YES, that we would have to discuss it and that she would need to give us time.
    Then she decided to introduce herself.
    Rude.

    What I think is funny is that two weeks before, while we were inspecting, her partner rolled by on the tractor. At the fence. Waived, and kept on trucking. The bees paid her no mind.


    All things aside - I don't want them being stung or God forbid attacked. I also don't want her to get mad and spray our hives. So we compromised on the barrier and 3', in a letter. That she has yet to respond to.



    She has 80+ acres, we have 17. The hives are at the very back of our property approximately 15' from the fence line. The field that they are facing is a huge, wide open area. Ours is a long and skinny plot, with heavy mesquite trees bordering much of the fences. We placed them there because of the shade to sun ratio, wind, and zero structures.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
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    1,605

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    Just put up some kind of solid barrier that the neighbors cant see through so they wont even know what is going on behind it.Out of sight,out of mind!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Monroe County, PA, USA
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    234

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    Quote Originally Posted by MizAmberLea View Post
    We've had these bees since the beginning of May, respectively. Starting with one and we now have four.
    Last Sunday, while conducting inspections on all of our hives, the neighbors drove up on their ATV (parking 20-50 yards away) and walked towards the fence. At about 20 feet away, she aggressively requested that we move the hives. (we were in full suits with a hive wide open - frame in hand, and she rolls up in a t-shirt and shorts).
    We were stunned at her demeanor.
    She said that the bees "swarm" them when they mow during the day. She said "they are like that", pointing to the crowd of bees buzzing around us at the moment. I asked her if she had been stung or chased, she said no. I tried to explain to her that she was mowing through their flight pattern - NOT SWARMING.
    She wouldn't hear it. Then she proceeds to tell us about the 3rd generation farmer who was killed last week when he disturbed an Africanized hive. She said they are scared.

    We just stood there in silence. She asked us what kind of bees we had, and if it would be too much trouble to move them. I quickly answered YES, that we would have to discuss it and that she would need to give us time.
    Then she decided to introduce herself.
    Rude.

    What I think is funny is that two weeks before, while we were inspecting, her partner rolled by on the tractor. At the fence. Waived, and kept on trucking. The bees paid her no mind.


    All things aside - I don't want them being stung or God forbid attacked. I also don't want her to get mad and spray our hives. So we compromised on the barrier and 3', in a letter. That she has yet to respond to.



    She has 80+ acres, we have 17. The hives are at the very back of our property approximately 15' from the fence line. The field that they are facing is a huge, wide open area. Ours is a long and skinny plot, with heavy mesquite trees bordering much of the fences. We placed them there because of the shade to sun ratio, wind, and zero structures.
    Sounds like a case of irrational fear. Unless you can reduce her fear I do not think you can move the hives far enough and still be on your own property. Maybe invite both over to look at the hives when you do not have them opened. But having Africanized bees in your state will not help the issue.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    1,120

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper1d View Post
    Just put up some kind of solid barrier that the neighbors cant see through so they wont even know what is going on behind it.Out of sight,out of mind!
    +2 on the can't see thru barrier, but don't think for a second this is going to end... If you want peace, move them as far as you can. Certainly out of sight of your neighbor. I'm on 80 acres, but you can't see my hives from any fence, gate or road. I also don't put up any cute bee keeping signs nor do I put up Honey for sale signs. My honey is sold AWAY from my house, I don't give honey to my neighbors. I don't want anybody that lives near by to know I keep bees.

    Sorry for your problems. In Florida, Bee keeping is completely protected... The whole country should bee that way.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    4,323

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    Have her and her put on a bee suit and help you inspect the hive. Then, give them a quart of fresh honey.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA UNITED STATES
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    241

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    Have her and her put on a bee suit and help you inspect the hive. Then, give them a quart of fresh honey.
    this may work. Or you can tell them if you have to give up beekeeping, you'll have to go back to your other hobbies of raising basset hounds and prize winning roosters.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,135

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    Last Sunday, while conducting inspections on all of our hives, the neighbors drove up on their ATV (parking 20-50 yards away) and walked towards the fence. At about 20 feet away, she aggressively requested that we move the hives. (we were in full suits with a hive wide open - frame in hand, and she rolls up in a t-shirt and shorts).
    We were stunned at her demeanor.
    Except for an aggressive request which wasn't preceded by an introduction, I'm not sure what else to be stunned at. They parked quite a ways off, on their own property and were wearing appropriate attire for their activities. I would hardly expect them to dress like a beekeeper.

    Then she proceeds to tell us about the 3rd generation farmer who was killed last week when he disturbed an Africanized hive. She said they are scared.
    You can't argue over scared. If they are, they are. We may feel it's irrational but that's us.

    Then she decided to introduce herself.
    Rude.
    The issue is going to be the bees and where they're placed. Rude or not. Her rudeness is secondary.

    What I think is funny is that two weeks before, while we were inspecting, her partner rolled by on the tractor. At the fence. Waived, and kept on trucking. The bees paid her no mind.
    Yet, it's not uncommon to read here about a beekeeper who strolled by their hives every day without a problem and then suddenly things changed. You're in an area that is known for aggressive colonies.

    All things aside - I don't want them being stung or God forbid attacked. I also don't want her to get mad and spray our hives. So we compromised on the barrier and 3', in a letter. That she has yet to respond to.
    I certainly hope that the compromise is accepted but I'm not hopeful. Given the amount of space, 3' is not much. Assuming a bee can fly conservatively at about 10 miles per hour, that's roughly 15 feet per second. Put another way, would you have felt better if, when she walked up with her demands, that she stood 23 feet away instead of 20 feet back? I wouldn't want them stung either but the reality is that wherever they may get stung in the future, your colonies will be top of mind.

    In the long run, neighbors and bees are more about neighbors and neighbors. I'm not one to get laws, judges, statutes, agreements and restrictions involved. If they were my bees, I'd be looking to get them moved somewhere else so that the flight pattern would be less direct and the hives would be more private. Your neighbors may be asking a lot and they may be rude and they may be irrational but trying to change them with a letter and a 6' high barrier may not be enough. I hope that it is and that your long term relationship will be a great one.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Vancouver Wa
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    369

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    No real advise but this thread makes me appreciate my neighbors, we talked with them before we got the bees and our hive are located 20-30 feet from there back door! Of coarse there are two 6 ft fences and a sidewalk in between but they had no problem with it. And the bees haven't bothered them at all. I did tell them if they do become a problem we will fix it by either requeening or moving the bees.. Also we promised next year if we get honey so will they.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Whiteland, Indiana
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    30

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper1d View Post
    Just put up some kind of solid barrier that the neighbors cant see through so they wont even know what is going on behind it.Out of sight,out of mind!
    I agree with this. Plus I would try to explain to them about the chance of there being feral hives in the area anyways. With that much land, assuming it's not all cleared, I'd imagine there's a bee tree or two around. Then explain to them the forage range of bees and let them know that the bees won't only be in you area. But I would def out a barrier up not only to keep them out of sight but also to force the bees flight path up and over the neighbors mowing path. When I installed my home hive, which is in a neighborhood, I made sure they faced into my yard and had plenty of tall ornamental grass around them to not only conceal them but to force them up and away. Good luck.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Derry, New Hampshire
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    2,295

    Default Re: Unhappy Neighbors

    am I reading this right? You have 17acres and you're insistent to keep them that close to the neighbor?? just sayin if you move a few feet you might as well move them a few acres. I have less then half an acre and I put mine on the side of my yard not next to my neighbors. it has a 6 foot picket fence behind and I added a few on the sides to keep my bees safe from people. no one even knows I have them. you have the land set up an apiary that has room to grow and maybe fenced in all around to protect the bees from predators . not saying she is right but I'm sure she can go out at 3am and douse your hives with insecticide so I'd get them away

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