I also have bees in a residential area, I find they are over my 6'4" head at 20' to 25'.
You could always put some kind of barrier closer than that to get them to go higher sooner.
I was really amazed at the amount of traffic there is coming and going out of a hive each day, planing for that flyway is a very good idea.
I've got my hive with the fence on the left (east) about three feet away, entrance facing the garden (south); the bees fly out and west and up every time. The only time I see them on the east side of the hive is to clean it. They fly pretty high right away, too, so we don't even bump into them. Why do they do that? The east side of the hive is pretty shaded--would that do it? My neighbor on the other sideofthe fence was pretty eager for the bees to come into his yard, so I hope they're circling back somehow.
I am in a residential area and it has not been an issue. They are tucked in the middle of 2 story houses and to get out they go up right away. I am safely out of their path in about 10 feet. Also you may think you know the direction they are heading but until you find their target you don't know. And their direction changes with he season.
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