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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a year into keeping bees (2 hives) in my backyard, in the middle of a suburban neighborhood in KY. Last summer was a lot of trial and error keeping bees in a neighborhood, primarily trying to keep the bees out of the numerous swimming pools that are adjacent to my property (I'm on an acre, corner lot). Most of my neighbors were very supportive, and patient, but I know there were a few stings along the way that didn't always get reported to me. Now one of my neighbors is very upset because he and his dog recently got stung. And he says the bees were in his pool all summer last year (didn't know that til now, though). He has threatened to take me to court, although beekeeping is legal according the city ordinaces. I think he would make his claim going the "nuisance" route. The whole experience has me not so much worried about this cranky neighbor, but more-so my other neighbors who I do value, and the fact that they may be tolerating more bee activity/problem in their pools than they are willing to admit, because they like me and don't want to complain. I don't want them to be harboring ill will and frustration and be afraid to tell me. It's complicated.

Anyway, I am considering the option of moving at least one of my hives to a more remote location, to avoid damaging any friendships I do have with the neighbors I like, and to show the angry neighbor that I am willing to make a good faith effort to alleviate his concerns (even though he was a huge jerk to us in front of my 5 year old son, and I now secretly wish he'd been stung more than once). So, my question (finally....thank you for hanging in there with me :) is this: What are the ramifications of moving a hive this time of year, during what I gather to be a pretty strong nectar flow? I would be moving it to a cattle farm about 6-7 miles from where it is now. Would the bees adjust, or would it drastically set them back? OR, do you think there is any way I can provide enough water in my yard to keep them out of all the neighbors' pools? There is a pool in every direction they fly to forage. I'm wondering if I'm fighting a losing battle trying to keep them out of all the pools. I appreciate any advice and insight you all might have!! and thanks for listening!
 

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Can he prove the bee that stung him came from your hive? Try that in court.
As for moving, if there is good forage in the new place, no problem at all.
 

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You can't just move them selectively and expect your problem to go away. If you move them, move all (both) of your hives, or the problems are guaranteed to continue.
 

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Just like it was stated, if you move one you mise well move them all or the problem will still continue. Now you ask yourself-> If your hives are within the city law guide lines then why move them at all???..Im sure your attached to them and dont want to see them go, thats why you want to keep one. It has to be either all the hives stay or all the hives will have to go!...Thats a call you will have to make!
 

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Are you providing water? That sounds like it is your problem (the bees going to them for drinks I mean).

If you are but the bees prefer the neighbours then can I suggest an idea? If you use a birdbath or some such large container - put enough rocks around to let them have plenty of room to drink without bothering each other. Then add a sack (of some kind) containing leaves, hay, dirt, and if possible just a little manure (no chemical types). The bees seem to love this. Here the bees have access to a small pond but they seem to prefer to drink from wet ground around our barn and gardens. (you may just put in the water is holding the water and lay the rocks on top)

That may keep the bees home altogether.
No proof just an idea.

Mike
 

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The reason your bees are going to the neighbors pools is because they like fresh water. Don't know if you'll be able to break them of their visits but you can try to put a birdbath close to the hives and keep it full of fresh water every day. I know we have 48 hives in our yard and, even though we keep a half barrel of water close by for them, they always come to my birdbath to drink. Doesn't bother us so we make sure we fill the birdbath once a day.
 

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I tried the birdbath. Didn't work. I don't know if my bees went to swimming pools or a nearby creek or what.

So I suspect that if the bees are already used to a particular water source, not much chance they will start using a bird bath.
 

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I would talk to the other neighbors and flat out ask them if the bees were a nuisance to them last year. If they say that the bees were not a nuisance, then I would stand my ground. If others say that the bees were a nuisance then I would move both hives. Like has already been stated, if he can't prove it was your bee that stung him, he has no case.

Blueline
 

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his city may have nuisance laws that would allow for the neighbor to ask the city to have the bees removed.

It's kind of like chickens in Dallas. You can have them. Unless neighbors claim they are a nuisance.
 

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Try putting a little cidar vingar in the water.Wouldn'tuse more than 1/2 cup per gallon water. Make sure it is cidar vingar not white vingar
 

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If you do move both of your hives put a completely empty hive in its place to see if the complainer still has anything to say. Just mess with his head a little.

G3
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Lots of good advice and ideas..thank you all. And yes, I do provide water...it is in birdbaths. I'm pretty diligent about keeping it clean, and they have small sticks to land on, etc. There is one right next to the hives, and another one elsewhere in the yard. I see the bees drinking from it, but just not sure a few birdbaths can compete with all the pools, especially as the weather gets hotter. I'd be willing to invest more money in a larger water feature for the yard, but hate to do that if it won't have a big enough impact.

I will definitely talk to the other neighbors face to face before I make any decisions. I have already considered doing that, and if they are not having significant problems, I've considered standing my ground and let the cranky neighbor do what he will. I love having them in my yard, and figured keeping one hive would at least cut down on the number of bees that might be in the pools. So it would be a good happy medium, so to speak. The joy of beekeeping for me is seeing them in my yard and on my flowers, so it would be a huge bummer to have to move them both. Thanks to everyone, again...any other ideas or comments, I'd love to hear from you!
 

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Downsizing to one hive in the yard will not get rid of the problem but it will lesson it.

When I had only 2 hives here at home...I would see them coming to my pond for water and think... "ahh... how cute". once the number of hives grew to 18... it wasnt quite as cute...

so less can be more... you would still have the legal stuff with the grumpy neighbor but you would also have fewer bees getting in the nice folks pools.. they might appreciate the effort too.
 

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Had a very similar issue with a past neighbor. When I went over there to check it out I found out most of the so called bees where actually yellow-jackets. When I pointed this out to him he basically called me a lier and said I was trying to get out of it. No reasoning with that kind of ignorance so I left my bees and let him go hang!

I think you have the right idea. Moving one hive and providing the remaining hive with plenty of water near their hive will certainly lesson the problem. Do this for the neighbors you like. If you are within your legal rights to have the bees on your property and you want to have at least one hive to tinker with without having to drive 6 miles then that seems reasonable. I guaranty you there where bees in his pool before you installed your bees and there will be bees in the pool if you where to move both your hives. Next he will be blaming you for sun-spots. Some people just like to b*tch. :s
 

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Can he prove the bee that stung him came from your hive? Try that in court.
Proof isn't necessary in civil court, just a liklihood. That being said, I know there's a law in WV that protects beekeepers from just such lawsuits... so the OP might check to see if there is a similar law in KY.
 

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Moving the hive 6-7 miles will not hurt them, and if the nectar flow is as good they will do as good. But moving one hive will not solve the problem PLUS you are going to be out many $$ in gas not to mention time caring for them. I use to keep 16 hives on a acre with no complaints....I woul leave both there period....if you move one move them both and put a empty there as see if he gripes. If he does show him the empty hive and tell him how stipid, make hive feel like the [email protected]@ he is then move hives back home!
 

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I would talk to each of my "good" neighbors, ask if there were any problems last year, and ask them to call me when they see bees in their pool. I'd go over, to discover if they actually were bees, or yellow jackets or other such. Then go from there. Good luck.
 

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Make the water salty. Seems they prefer it and will go past good water holes to get to a saltwater pool.

Do any of these neighbors have saltwater pools? If so, then who has the greater right....you to own bees or the pool owner that wants saltwater?
 

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It's all been said previously, but you keep 'protesting' that you want to enjoy your bees.

Take a short time hit to build a long time solution and eliminate your bees as a source of issue by relocating htem. There are bound to be other bees in the neighborhood, and they can help you point the finger of blame somewhere other than you.

Move the hives, and do it when nobody is likely to see you.

Position at least one empty hive in the yard locations so that anybody looking casually would think they are still in your yard. You can always say you were airing the boxes for adding on later in the season.

Wait 2-4 weeks and then visit your neighbors, especially the cranky one, and ask them whether they are having any problems with bees in their pools.

Assuming the majority respond that they still have bees but they are not a problem, prepare a summary of the responses (do not identify individually).

If one or more of the responses claim that bees are a problem then prepare a mass mailing to all of your neighbors.

Say that you did not feel your bees were a problem because you provided water in the yard for them. However, in response to concerns expressed by one (or more) neighbors you had relocated your hives xxx weeks ago to the xxxxx location.

Point out that since the absence of your hives made no difference to the population of bees drinking from neighborhood pools then clearly your hives are not a factor. Conclude by saying your bees will be coming back from the country soon so that you can enjoy watching them again.

Your cranky neighbor will have no come back.
 
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