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Has anybody ran into any serious issues with their bees that has provoked neighbors to an excessive act of revenge? Such as to the point where the police may have been called, to address the issue from the neighbor's viewpoint of the bees' nuisance to their lives, or even to the acute instance where a neighbor might contact their local municipality complaining of the potential hazard of a beekeeper's bees in an attempt to force a beekeeper to move their hive(s)?

Elsewhere I mention on this site of a apiary I took over that had killed a tied up horse, approx 30 feet away on a neighbor's property, and the previous beekeeper didn't want to put up with any potential problems so he sold to me. I never had one complaint from the neighbor the years I had that yard in the 60s and 70s. I had a couple hives on my parents .8 acre of land for 10 years at that same time and never had a complaint there either. Had a number of other yards, but never a neighbor complaint to my knowledge.

But just doing some spit-balling as everyone's neighbor experience may not be as positive, due to the honeybees, and there are some people that are just downright cantankerous no matter what the situation.

I was just wondering if any board member(s) happened to run into any major issues from their neighbors due to the proximity of their backyard beehive(s)?
 

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I have not run into problems that extreme. I did have bees going to a neighbors pollen late one summer. I moved the hives for a few weeks. Once the pool went down I brought the bees back. My bees are inside a six-foot privacy fence. It not only helps them gain altitude when foraging, it keeps hive numbers and size my business. Most of my neighbors do not know I have bees.

Tom
 

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Just heard a story last night while helping my buddy move his one hive back to his house.

He lives on a 1/4 acre plot in the suburbs, there were neighbour issues with the bees so he moved them out. Some time later he discovered a pile of rubbish in his neighbors place (who were renters) had been thrown over his fence. So, he threw it back over.

Neighbors then fronted up to him, confrontation ensued and he assisted them off his property. They returned with the police, told a better story, and my friend was issued written notice to remove the rubbish, which was not even his.

This he flat refused to do and was in the process of going further, when the neighbors who also had landlord issues, got evicted.

Problem solved, and I helped him move the bees back last night.
 

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A commercial friend of mine had 20 hives on a 6 acre lot he owns. A neighbor complained to the city & county.
He was asked to remove the hives.
 

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Our town location on about a 1/8 acre lot is in a HOA that does not allow fences between yards. That pretty much trashes the best known ways of keeping your bees from making a beeline thru your neighbor's yard. Bees themselves might not be prohibited, but any responsible urban apiary is essentially prohibited.

Our apiary is going up in WV, where we have one neighbor who we have been told has threatened to sue us if we put in hives. That's not what they told us when we asked them last year, but they've sued the HOA and several members for various petty complaints.

But in WV, the state laws on beekeeping are beekeeper-friendly. We've registered the hives. The state has a one page sheet, ten commandments of beekeeping, which are essentially what you've been told about fences, water, being good bee stewards, and put up a sign or two warning that you have bees. Do these things, with properly registered hives, and you're pretty much protected. You are, after all, keeping the state insect.

In our case, let 'em sue. They will lose.
 

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If I had neighbors like that, I can promise you I would make their life a living hell. They would move.
 

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Just a theory now, and nothing I would actually do, but in principle, what would happen if you took a good photograph of a bad neighbor, covered it with honey, and stuck it up near your hives?
 

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Yes its quite common in urban areas. Some people of deathly afraid of insects let alone stinging bees. I moved my hives because one neighbor complained several times, the others could care less. I know of other club members who have too. I side with the complainers in urban areas with tight lots (city type small lots), however in the country or in suburban areas with large lots if someone complains I would dismiss. Alot depends on how often the person is outside and what is in their yard. Pool, fountain, flowers, garden, grass or clover, etc. Perhaps during summer your neighbor has dinner outside and now 10-20-30 bees are circling there drinks, or pool etc. They can become a nuisance and I think you should respect your neighbor.
 

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My hive is in our front yard. I put a letter in each mailbox explaining our plans and if anyone had questions or concerns to call me. Not a single call, close neighbours are happy.
 

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Our apiary will be on a 6 acre wooded lot in a community of large wooded and pasture lots. There are two more large lots between us and the one who has taken up suing as a hobby. Not a leg to stand on.

Guess who won't be getting any honey for Christmas?

The situation is a long, sad story. Not so bloody as the Hatfields and McCoys, but I can't help thinking about them. The legal system is slow and expensive, but in the end I think they're gonna regret it. Probably already do.
 

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> My hive is in our front yard. I put a letter in each mailbox explaining our plans ...

That could lead to a different problem.
:eek: Some years ago I put my own 'letters' in neighborhood mailboxes and shortly after that my parents got an unpleasant call from the local Postmaster informing them/me that only the Post Office was legally allowed to place anything in mailboxes (aside from the box owner).

Now I put stamps on letters and let the USPS do the delivery. :)


When I was planning to acquire bees, I did mention it to my nearest neighbor in advance, but I did so in person. :D There haven't been any issues in the 2 years since.
 

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When we initially got bees, we lived in a residential subdivision. Before getting them, we talked to all the neighbors around us, nobody objected, some were pleased with the idea. We only kept a couple hives beside the house. We did have some moments of wondering when swarms came out of the hives which we thought were not strong enough to do that, but nobody ever complained directly.

We moved last year due to a new job for my wife. When buying our new home, we shopped rather carefully for a bunch of reasons, bees being one of them. We bought a small acreage. Across the road from us, is a subdivision zoned Country Residential, half acre lot sizes. On the other side of us, it's zoned Country Estate, minimum lot size 5 acres, but somewhat restricted in what they can do. Our zoning is Rural-1-ALR (Agriculture Land Reserve). The zoning bylaws state very specifically for our land, bylaw folks will not respond to complaints regarding smell, noise, or other nuisance complaints with respect to agricultural activities. If folks around us have issues with our bees, the bylaw enforcement folks will tell them that they have two choices. First choice, suck it up, second choice, move. But no complaints regarding our bees will result in any kind of enforcement actions, unless we are managing them negligently.

When I read about some of the issues folks have regarding bees and neighbors etc, I'm glad we are in a completely different boat. If anybody does complain about our bees, enforcement folks are on my side. I doubt that's going to happen tho, we've already got a number of neighbors looking forward to a better fruit set on the apples and cherries. Talking to one of them this winter, he could tell me to the day when the bees arrived at our place, said he hasn't seen honeybees on his heather for at least 5 years, then on Aug 25 last year, they suddenly showed up. He's thrilled, because next to that heather, apples and cherries. Another one a half kilometer up the road has a large row of hazelnut trees, and they've already seen the bees on those nuts in force last week. In general, our neighborhood is thrilled that bees have showed up, and lots of folks have started asking when we will have honey for sale.
 

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I do have a very sad story that fits this thread well.
I have several bee yards and have for several years. One of them is in the back yard of a rental house I own. The renters are fine with it. There is a 6 foot high wood privacy fence between the 15 hives and the house next door.

The people next door never complained to the renters or us, rather they set a ladder on the fence, climbed up and sprayed the hives with a can of Wasp and Hornet killer. I was emotionally sickened by the buckets of dead bees.

I was angry, my wife had a cooler head and discussed the matter over with the party involved. No remorse, they just didn't like bees. Some times the lower class is just that.

I could have contacted the police and no doubt made things very difficult for the criminals, but what would have been the net positive of that? I think keeping conflict at a minimum will serve me better as I expand my hive population in this Urban, Suburban and populated countryside.
 

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Most communities have zoning laws that specify what is permitted regarding bees. While not everyone chooses to observe regulations, I believe it's a considerate practice to know and respect them. In my area, 15 hives would never be permitted on an urban lot. 10 hives per acre is permitted. It seems thoughtful of your bees and neighbors to check with neighbors before placing hives in proximity to a property line, and to add barriers so the bees are up and away. That said, I had two hives sabotaged by someone and one colony was killed. I had no proof but suspected a neighbor. The issue I speculate was not the bees but some action I had taken regarding neighbor dogs chasing my livestock. So you never know what will come back to bite -- or sting -- you!
 

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I cannot understand why someone would move into a neighborhood with an HOA.......

I live in the country. I do as I please.
 
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