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Hello,
I have a hive in my backyard and had a question regarding covering the hive for an afternoon. My girls are very docile and haven't shown any signs of aggression towards me or the kids, but I don't want people that aren't used to bees to become spooked or have someone get stung by something else and blame the poor girls.

My thoughts are:
1. cover the hive the night before with a large screen when all the bees are home.
2. make sure they have a jar of syruple and water to keep them through the day
3. Uncover them as soon as everyone is gone.

Anyone have any insight or suggestions?
Thank you,
Joe
 

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I wouldn't keep them screened in for a day. The best option is to move them a few miles away the night before then bring them back the night after the BBQ. Or just leave them be how they are.
 

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I wouldnt worry about it too much. One of my hives is about 30 ft from a bbq. There are some low shrubs separating the two, but its never been a problem.
 

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Shrubs might be an idea. Do you have room for some shrubs in your yard and a bit of a budget? If so, spring for something you like (on sale of course :)) in pots that are a few feet high and just set them between the bbq and the hive as a bit of a barrier, more visual than anything. Then just plant the shrubs wherever you'd like them after the party.
 

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I wouldn't keep them screened inside the hive for the day, but you could get a hive net (most supply companies have them. They let the bees come out and beard, while not letting them fly. Then as long as they have water, they should be fine.

If you don't screen them, just don't do any inspecting of the hive for a couple of days before the BBQ. Don't let anyone bother the hive for that time either.

One more thought. You could just hide the entrance so that the guard bees couldn't see people in the back yard. For example you could simply set a card table on it's side a couple of feet away from the hive between the entrance and your yard.
 

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Those are great ideas! I knew something could be done because I remember seeing old photos of funerals/weddings/picnics/etc, where they would put a veil over the hives.
 

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Hello,
My thoughts are:
1. cover the hive the night before with a large screen when all the bees are home.
2. make sure they have a jar of syruple and water to keep them through the day
3. Uncover them as soon as everyone is gone.

Anyone have any insight or suggestions?
Thank you,
Joe
!. Believe it or not there are lots of bees that don't get home before dark, so you would be keeping them out the next day which wouldn't make them happy. And you would have to go to great lengths to keep all of the bees inside any net or large screen you might have.

Nope, wouldn't do it. Not prudent. To quote the first President Bush.

2. I don't think that that would have the results that you are lookingfor. They are foraging animals and you can't keep them from foraging just because you have provided them w/ what you thought they needed.

Same quote from Mr. Bush.

3. Skip the first two and you won't need to do the third one.

But if you dop do any of the first two, be prepared to have a fight on your hands when you do open them. Or a dead stinking mess.

My advice, if you are so concerned, is to move the hive completely out of your back yard. Or, have the bbq some other place, like the local park or beach.

I hope none of this was too brash or offensive to your ear. I seem to be making people angry lately by straight talk.

When do we eat? Steaks, burgers, pork bbq or roast? What's the menu?
 

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Get a few 7 foot stakes (wood or metal) and a bunch of rolled burlap (i can buy it by the yard in various widths at Agway or a landscaping/nursery place). Put up a temporary 6 foot tall burlap 'wall' that is about 5 feet from your hive and blocks the hive flight pattern from the side where the BBQ will be. This will force the bees to rise up above head height right away when leaving the hive, and will coax them a little into a flight path that heads in a direction other than right towards the bbq area. After the party you can store it to use again next time. It will also hide the beehive from obvious view, thus psychologically reassuring the guests. :cool:
 

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Issue veils and gloves to all of your guests. Or tell everyone that your party is hunting themed, so they have to wear camoflouged clothing. The bees won't see them that way.
 

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If the guard bees do not see people you will be fine, even on grumpy hives. Flight bees will not care and with even the slightest barrier will be at an angle they will not interfere with people

Put a small barrier up to block the view of the hive entrance. Pick your choice of items. I've used the woven mat that Lowes etc sells to put over new grass seed plantings, etc. plus a couple 5 ft stakes of some sort.

You can get all that now- a hive "net" will be a pain to order.

Blocking the entrance won't be good, they will get hot, and the foragers that get trapped out will circle everyplace, confused.

This advice is empirically tested : )
 

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My one friend has pool parties with his hive 5 feet from the pool. He hasn't had any problems.

Making them fly over a temporary fence sounds like a good idea though.
 

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I have bees within 2 feet of my house and patio. I just experimented with closing in my hive as I had painters working on the house. At 5 am I duct taped window screening over the entrance and then watered/sprinkled them throughout the day to give them drinking water and to simulate rain. ONly 1 bee was left out (that I know of). All went well and when the area near them was painted I uncovered them yesterday, after 13 hours confined. BOY, were they excited to get out and MAD. I got stung on the face once.

Painters are here again today and the bees are anxious and overprotective of the hive. I think anyone walking near the hive might get stung now.

I don't suggest trapping them in the hive.

Plantings, tables, or anything to block their path towards the bbq is the easier and less disruptive way to go. Have on hand an epi pen (get from your doctor) and Benadryl. The onions for your hamburgers will also dilute the pain of any stings :)
 
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