What recourse do I have?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Wildwood, FL
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    20

    Angry What recourse do I have?

    I live in a neighborhood with an HOA. Before I got bees I carefully went through the deed restrictions. There was, and still is, nothing about honeybees. I live in Central Florida. The state of Florida allows 3 hives on neighborhood property unless the HOA has a specific rule against bees. As stated before, there is not a rule. There are rules that say no cows, pigs or chickens. As you can guess though, I got a letter from the company managing the HOA telling me that I need to remove the "Nuisance" bee hives in my yard. I wrote a letter asking them to show me in the covenants where it says no bees...it has been 2 days, and no response. Any suggestions on how I can remedy this situation peacefully?

    Thank you,
    Steve

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
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    270

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by srockey View Post
    I live in a neighborhood with an HOA. Before I got bees I carefully went through the deed restrictions. There was, and still is, nothing about honeybees. I live in Central Florida. The state of Florida allows 3 hives on neighborhood property unless the HOA has a specific rule against bees. As stated before, there is not a rule. There are rules that say no cows, pigs or chickens. As you can guess though, I got a letter from the company managing the HOA telling me that I need to remove the "Nuisance" bee hives in my yard. I wrote a letter asking them to show me in the covenants where it says no bees...it has been 2 days, and no response. Any suggestions on how I can remedy this situation peacefully?

    Thank you,
    Steve
    Are your bees a nuisance? IOW, do they attack people or animals nearby?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,565

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Give them a chance to mull it over. If bees are not specifically prohibited, then the law appears to be on your side. Would also help if you could find out who complained and maybe figure out a way to placate them. If you have HOA meetings, perhaps you should attend and be ready to advocate for your bees. Bees are not a nuisance unless they are aggressive. In that case, you should requeen with tamer stock.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Wildwood, FL
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    20

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Bees have never bothered anyone...but me.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Wildwood, FL
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Good idea to attend the HOA meeting. These bees are not aggressive at all. I walk out and stand next to the hives and do not get stung. Also, I use a large riding mower and mow within a foot of the hives, and have never been stung.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    2,333

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    To prepare, review the HOA ability to amend the rules.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    To prepare, review the HOA ability to amend the rules.
    Keep in mind that if the HOA does change the bylaws/rules, they may still have to grandfather you in since you had hives before they added the new rules. I would look this up in Florida though, because it may vary by state.


    Another idea is to move the hives to a different part of your yard away from your neighbors. It may be worth putting a fence around the hives to keep them out of view to make your life easier in the future.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,663

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    When my new neighbors !!!anonymously!!! complained on my bees - the bees that I kept BEFORE these new neighbors ever moved in and the old neighbors never gave the hoot - I responded that the complainants should demonstrate photographic/video proof of my bees being nuisance.

    Never heard back (as I pretty much expected).

    Ask for the same.
    Also, be prepared to see yellow jackets or wasps in that photo/video proof - then be prepared to rebut, based on the photo evidence.
    People are surprisingly ignorant, in general.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Wildwood, FL
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    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Good idea. Thank you

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Greensboro, NC, usa
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    12

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by srockey View Post
    Good idea. Thank you
    I am in the same boat at this time. My HOA asked me to remove them because they thought they are animals since the covenants have this common language about "no animals, livestock or poultry of any kind." Though I pointed out the NC Honey Bee Act of 1977 which explicitly states honeybees as "insects," they didn't seem to budge. Did also send the definition of animal in Chapter 19A Protection of Animals which defines "animals" as "every living vertebrate in the classes Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia except human beings." HOA decided to hold a hearing but could not attend due to work. Though I notified them well in advance about my availability, they held the hearing anyway as I heard. Don't know what they have decided yet.

    Wish you best of luck.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
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    121

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    I am an urban planner and zoning expert and this is strictly a legal issue. By the time you pay an attorney you will BEE better off finding a new location. The HOA can adopt its own laws and unfortunately when you move into such a development you give up certain rights. You have not provided information about the size of your lot or how close the homes are to one another but from experience I would assume you are very close to your neighbor. Although everyone on this forum loves bees, neighbors may not be as tolerant especially if you have homes very close toone another. I think you will have a difficult time convincing your association to accept beekeeping. If you have the financial resources you could conatct an attorney who might send a letter on your behalf. An alleged nuisance is very difficult to argue against as that term apperars in even some of the more liberal zoning ordinances that permit bees.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Northeast PA
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    163

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    What can your HOA do exactly if you refuse to remove the bees?

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plannerwgp View Post
    ..... An alleged nuisance is very difficult to argue against as that term apperars in even some of the more liberal zoning ordinances that permit bees.
    Last year I spent lots of personal time and effort that paid of - our city has now official ruling and documentation that defines and permits beekeeping within the city.
    What helped a LOT - one elected city counsel member was himself a beekeeper (he now is the elected city mayor - even better).

    This being said, I encourage to always challenge the claims of so-called nuisance and ask for indisputable proof (e.g. bees at someone's swimming pool photographed will be hard to argue against; yellow jackets at the humming bird feeder, however, will make you a great favor to point the finger at and show how unfairly you, the beekeeper, are persecuted).

    Like our current mayor says - bees and dogs are under the same nuisance definition.
    Some dogs peeing onto my front yard are nuisance IF I choose to pursue the issue (I will IF pressed, but I don't because I am a generally reasonable person).
    If anything, the dogs are by far the most annoying nuisance in most locations (for sure, mine).
    Two neighbors back, those people had a very aggravating dog that would charge my kids through the hedge - THAT is nuisance and some.
    I never complained - they were nice folks.
    Lest not forget, people are allergic to the dogs just as well as to the bees and dog parasites can jump to humans. And dogs can bite.
    And so I prefer people don't press me on the nuisance issues - I say stand your ground IF you can while still remaining reasonable.
    Last edited by GregV; 08-23-2019 at 07:46 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    What can your HOA do exactly if you refuse to remove the bees?
    you must investigate your exact local context.
    no one can tell you the answer - you, the local beek, must be the expert in your local situation, not some BS folks from across the county (or the globe).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Shady Side, Maryland
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    16

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Never buy a house that you can't pee of the front porch of..

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
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    523

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Antarctica View Post
    Never buy a house that you can't pee of the front porch of..

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    829

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    What can your HOA do exactly if you refuse to remove the bees?
    The HOA can affix fines to the deed of the house which must be collected before the house can be sold.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Niagara Co., NY, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Antarctica View Post
    Never buy a house that you can't pee of the front porch of..
    That's very good advice!

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,565

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Antarctica View Post
    Never buy a house that you can't pee of the front porch of..
    Thank God I live in the country. Front porch, back porch, apiary, its all good.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Wildwood, FL
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: What recourse do I have?


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