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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.
This is my first post to this forum. I'm a newb, enrolled in a beekeeper's beginner class that hasn't started yet, and I've been reading and researching ahead of class. I'm pretty adept at self learning, will be setting up two hives, and I have already ordered bees (1 nuc, one box) and hive hardware, given advice from my bee teacher.

I am contemplating my options for where to locate my hives (starting two colonies) this upcoming Spring when I start out. I am showing several pics of my 1 acre residential lot with some distances measured from satellite images (Google Maps is awesome). My lot is fairly large for a residential neighborhood, as are my neighbors (all about 1 acre), but as you'll see, mine is a corner lot, so we have a very small backyard, and instead we have two "side" yards. We also have a swimming pool and I'd like to position the hives in such a manner as to minimize intrusion on that area.

Our kids are mature teens/early 20's who can be responsible about the hives. We have two small dogs with free reign (invisible fence collars) to the entire yard.

Here is an overall pic of our lot (note that I was lucky with the Google images, and the shadows help illustrate the sunrise):
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Location Option #1 would be on the side of the house opposite of the pool:
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One issue with Option #1 is that we get a LOT of foot traffic along the roads on this corner lot. I'm trying to be discrete about the hives so as not to raise alarm my neighbors. It is perfectly legal to have hives where we live, though there are folks who are instinctively afraid of bees and I really don't want to get into arguments with them or my HOA. If I chose Option #1 above, I would consider installing raised flower/veggie garden beds around as a distraction. This would be nice to have, but a much bigger expense of money and time.

Option #2 is to place hives toward the edge of my property on the pool-side, but this gets closer to that neighbor. That neighbor has a back patio that I'm sensitive about. They don't have any kids and I have NEVER seen them outdoors in almost 5 years, except to mow their lawn. This is probably my favorite location personally, but I'm a little worried about bees in the pool here, and only being 50' from my neighbor.

Option #2 furthest from our pool (closest to neighbor):
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Option #3 a little closer to the pool (but further from neighbor): I'm worried that I'll be too close to the pool and we'll have bees in the pool constantly...
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Option #2 tucked behind some trees along the back of our pool, but only 30' from our pool: Best in terms of discrete from foot traffic, but very close to the pool.
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In terms of neighborly conduct, I have never interacted with the neighbor on the pool side except a friendly wave now and then, and I have had a few pleasant interactions with the other neighbor. Neither neighbor has small kids or outdoor pets. When I'm producing honey, of course I'll offer some to them as a kind gesture, but I do not plan on asking "permission" to put up hives. I will offer my phone number (in case an issue arises) and probably some additional educational materials about honey bees to both of them after the hives are up.

I'm eager to hear what this community considers are the better locations for the two hives, being being sensitive that we use (and love) the pool a lot, and we hope to minimize issues with our neighbors and those walking past the house. Am I splitting hairs with these distances? Are any of them likely "better" in terms of pool and neighbor distances, or are they all so close that it doesn't really matter??

Eager to learn and appreciate your advice,
Rob
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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how much do you use the pool?
are there "pool parties"
what is the little square thing on the roof side pointing toward the driveway?

GG
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Personally, I like the idea of placing them along Stoneridge Drive adjacent to the tree line with the entrances facing East. No matter where you put them, the pool will be impacted to some degree.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We use the pool pretty often, and enjoy sitting on the patio area a lot too. The square thing on the roof is actually a little flat area outside of a bedroom window. Couldn’t make that an easy access for bees, cleaning, etc.

Interestind idea of closer to the road.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Rob, do you plan to stay at two hives or are you interested in building a larger apiary? If the plan is to go larger, Roland is offering some really good advice. If you are going to stay at two or three, then location is not a big issue. The bees are unlikely to be a bother to you or your neighbors no matter where you place the hives. You should consider locations that are good for both you and the bees. I run 20 hives in my backyard and do not have a problem.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I believe that in my town, I am limited to two hives, and I’m really not planning on selling any honey or making this a big production. I plan on giving some away for sure, but going at this as a small part of helping our environment, and because I just plain want to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
None of the above. Find a place out in the country, and keep your neighbors happy.
Crazy Roland
Someday maybe, but this is not practical for me currently. If this is the only solution, I’d have to give up the idea of keeping bees.
 

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I may be crazy but,..... That will convince them that the insect that just stung the inside of their child's mouth after drinking from a soda can is a Yellow Jacket and NOT a honeybee???? Good luck with that.

Crazy (as always) Roland
 

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From my point of view the distance to the neighbors isn't a problem. Anything more than 15 feet should be enough that 'air traffic' from the hives will have dispersed enough to be of no concern.

What bothers me more is resources - I'm not to experienced in beekeeping, yet I was 'luckily' enough to find out what happens when green is the only natural color around the hives.

That pools seems to be the nearest water source. There are some ponds, but they are further away, so I suggest putting another water source directly in front of the hives. Hopefully the bees will use that and not bother with the pool, but there is no guaranty.

I had a look around on Google Street View and there doesn't seem to much in regard of flowers and trees. Mostly evergreen trees and grass. There are some trees that might be some sort of fruit tree down Windmill Way and I've seen a few flowers here and there in Brookview Drive and further south around Ironwood Pond but it's not much. That 'wild' area to the east might yield more, but it would need further exploring to say anything specific. Same goes for that forested area inside wildwood trail and north of textile rd.

You might want to use this: beespace to check the flight radius of your bees and see what's available in there. From my experience: Only if there is quite a good amount of flowers and fruit trees within 1km (0.6 miles) around the hive the bees will find enough so that you can harvest a decent amount of honey. Anything further and the bees will have enough for themselves but won't have enough excess.
 

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Nice house, Rob.

Can we come over when you have a pool party? 💪

I'd put em near the trees, but make sure they are facing south.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
From my point of view the distance to the neighbors isn't a problem. Anything more than 15 feet should be enough that 'air traffic' from the hives will have dispersed enough to be of no concern.

What bothers me more is resources - I'm not to experienced in beekeeping, yet I was 'luckily' enough to find out what happens when green is the only natural color around the hives.

That pools seems to be the nearest water source. There are some ponds, but they are further away, so I suggest putting another water source directly in front of the hives. Hopefully the bees will use that and not bother with the pool, but there is no guaranty.

I had a look around on Google Street View and there doesn't seem to much in regard of flowers and trees. Mostly evergreen trees and grass. There are some trees that might be some sort of fruit tree down Windmill Way and I've seen a few flowers here and there in Brookview Drive and further south around Ironwood Pond but it's not much. That 'wild' area to the east might yield more, but it would need further exploring to say anything specific. Same goes for that forested area inside wildwood trail and north of textile rd.

You might want to use this: beespace to check the flight radius of your bees and see what's available in there. From my experience: Only if there is quite a good amount of flowers and fruit trees within 1km (0.6 miles) around the hive the bees will find enough so that you can harvest a decent amount of honey. Anything further and the bees will have enough for themselves but won't have enough excess.
THANK YOU for this detailed response and the link to beespace... I'm on it!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nice house, Rob.

Can we come over when you have a pool party? 💪

I'd put em near the trees, but make sure they are facing south.
Always up for another pool party! They typically involve kids swimming or lounging around the pool and parents enjoying libations on the patio. I also do a little cooking on the smoker that sometimes makes for nice appetizers/meals... so come prepared!

Which trees were you recommending?
 

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Your HOA is your biggest source of concern! Before you commit to bees I would definitely check your CC&R's. I would ask for a copy without committing to why you want them. If you have a privacy fencing surrounding your hives this forces the bees to fly in from higher. This helps keep the flight path out of the way of most people. I tell people who want me to keep bees on their property that 100' away from your door will keep you safe during the durth when not much is blooming in late summer. The west side opposite the pool seems to be the best place for an enclosure. Out of sight, out of mind. Everyone who worries about bee/yellow jacket stings will blame your bees. Being on a corner lot works against your hidden hives issues. Do expect the bees to use your pool. Sorry to be negative but these are the problems that I see of having to keep bees on your home ground. My wife worked for a HOA for 3 years so I heard lots of the problems for people living in that community.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Your HOA is your biggest source of concern!
Indeed, I agree that this would be the most likely concern. I have read through our HOA rules and there is no mention of bees. They mention limits on number of dogs/pets, and restrictions against farm animals. No mention of insects. I suppose an argument could be made that bees are farm animals, but I am willing so argue otherwise.

The HOA is a concern , thus my motivation to not have the hives in plain view from neighbors as they walk by. Our HOA doesn’t send around “patrol” cars looking for violations, but rather they respond to complaints. This is why I’m looking to be discreet. I seriously doubt that bee sting frequency will be increased, but the fear factor is very real for most people.

We aren’t permitted sheds either, but I could plant butterfly or other shrubs that could get tall enough to obscure site (and provide food).
 

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#1 spot at tree line, facing the street but put a 4 foot so,id fence about 6 feet in front of them. Makes them go up and out not toward neighbor house, pool or your car.... bees poop you know 😉
 

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Discussion Starter #19
#1 spot at tree line, facing the street but put a 4 foot so,id fence about 6 feet in front of them. Makes them go up and out not toward neighbor house, pool or your car.... bees poop you know 😉
Gotcha. That's kinda my fav location too. (Oddly, I never thought of bee poop in all of this!)
 

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There is a big bee seller in the town next to me, Merrimack Valley Apiaries . They were taken to Town hall court(could have been regular court too, over Bee Poop covering their neighbors house and cars. I get it, they have a TON of bees.

Mine fly over the carport and I have only seen a couple poops on my truck in that line. Sometimes they fly under it ( over the truck) but I have not seen much. Then again the truck is Silver Spruce, a silver light green color so maybe it blends better
 
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