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Does anyone have any experience with bee frass issues some distance from the beeyard? We've gotten complaints from neighbors 400' and 500' form our hives. We only have eleven hives.
Related issue, does anyone have firsthand knowledge of foraging across a significant body of water? Both these neighbors are on the shore of a lake that is exactly one mile across. I know bees cross water, but I'm just trying to build some data.
I apologize if I've posted this twice, not sure if it went out the first time.
Thanks,
Pete
 

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they'll fly 2-3 miles one way. 11 hives 500 feet from neighbors is way too many, in my opinion. good luck,mike
 

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I don't know about bees flying a mile across a lake. But I think I would go see if thay are my bees. Some folks don't know what a honey bee looks like. And if it is my bees I would find out what is so good that my bees would want to fly a mile across a lake . And plant it on my side of the lake. Hope things work out for you.
 

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I doubt that it is your bees. Most bees will conduct their cleansing flight right after leaving the hive. This allows them to gather much better. If they were parked in your driveway I could see it being an issue (my bee truck gets a dose daily) but they wouldn't be flying a mile across a lake just to poop on your neighbors. I suspect it's someone else's bees or something all together like some kind of a aphids that can make quite a mess.
 

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That's odd that you'd get complaints of poop at that distance. I live within the city limits of Seattle and have 4 of my 11 hives plus to recent swarm captures on my carport roof (above a structural wall). I notice a few poop spots on my truck that's parked 30 ft away, but haven't had any complaints from neighbors and there are over 40 residences within a 500 ft radius of my property.
Is there some food source that's drawing them across these properties? Is the lake their closest source of water? If water is the issues, maybe you can alleviate the problem by providing an alternate source. Commercial beeks used to put hives on my families timber property and the shores of the closest ponds would be thick with bees. Take a trip you your neighbors and find out.

It sound like you live next to Lake Whatcom. I have no personal data on how far bees will fly over water, but check out this experiment Distance Estimation by Foraging Honeybees looking at Optical Flow distance determination: http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/reprint/199/1/155.pdf. In it they summarize old experiments, one in which bees were going to a feeder 360 meters away across a lake. But, for the sake of argument, let's assume you live in that wide spot of Whatcom Lake just uplake from Sudden Valley. That 1 mile plus wide section is about 1,640 meters wide. It's about 4 miles NW and 5.5 miles SE straightline to get to either end of the lake before bees from your hive would turn the corner and start shortening the distance traveled (bee-lining). From what I've read, that 4 to 5 miles is about the limit of a bees range, but if some of those foragers got to the other side and liked what they saw, it might be possible if they started cutting the corners.

~Reid
 

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From what I heard & read, cleansing flights happen very short distances upon exiting the hive. So at 1 1/2 football fields, possible a few of your bees but most certainly they are coming from other locations also. By the way, BumbleBees and many other nectar eating insects void in flight.

One mile from your hive across water is possible, again not very likely the bee's they are seeing are all yours or yours at all. 11 hives in a rural area is not bad. In a urban area, that could be a problem. I have found that once some people know you are keeping bee's, they start blaming every insect issue on you. The best thing is block your hives from general view, a fence or hedge etc. My neighbor never complained in three years until he saw the hive one day. Then it was a constant stream of negative comments. Went over one day to see what the problem was and it was yellow jackets he was seeing not my bees. What a tool!
 

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oldenglish, count your blessings. there are many folks that report here on beesource problems with neighbors, and the more bees, the more likely to be problems-swarms/aggression/management mistakes/water issues...just my opinion. i'm not lucky enough or a good enough beekeeper to dare that. good luck,mike
 

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ive sold a number of hives to people around Lake Whatcom and toad lake up there.... so i highly dought that its just your bees also - there is lots of farms up here that have bees on them now - could be there bees

it might even be that they have a swarm that that moved into there house and they dont even know it -

anyhow best of luck with that up there

ps --- you can aways tell them that if they start paying your prop taxes then you will start listening to them !!!!!!
 
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