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can they sue you?

I don't have an issue yet. I should get my first bees in about a week and get started. I have 3 acres of wooded land and occasionally I'll see kids crossing my property to get to the creek or just play. I've never minded before, they have never harmed anything.

So soon I'll have bee's and I fear they may throw stones at my hives and end up getting stung, which can truly end up being serious, even life threatening event if they are allergic or stung heavily enough.

So yes, I understand that you can sue someone for a hang nail. I'm just wondering if there is any protection for a homeowner in my situation - whom has bee's in a safe place, but could be a danger if kids come looking for trouble.
 

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I'm curious about this too. How does someone sue for their child being stung if they trespassed on your property? And since bees naturally occur in nature how can they know for sure which bee stung them :s I wondered about this topic as well since I've told both of my neighbors (on the sides of my home - we have no neighbors in back) that we are getting bees and they said "no problem." But one neighbor is selling their property and I wondered what to do if the new neighbors make a stink and if they get stung is their legal repercussions?
 

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do a search here for "insurance" yes you can be sued, i can sue you because your name tramatizes me :) depends a lot on your local weather a suit would be successful. good luck,mike
 

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One - anyone can sue anyone for anything. However...winning a lawsuit is another thing. I have yet to hear of anyone actually winning a lawsuit from being stung by a bee. The problem is proving the bee was actually yours and not some feral bee. But all that aside.

In order to minimize the chance of being sued you should do a couple of things. One is post no trespassing signs on your property. The next is post a sign near your bees saying something like "Caution! Honeybees at work. Do not disturb!" I think you can order signs from a couple of different bee supply companies that say something to that effect. Also, as others have said if your bees are in your back yard put up a fence so they have to fly up and over which reduces the chance of a neighbor running into a bee flying low to the ground.

Hope that helps.
 

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I concur with the other posts. No one can prove that a bee is your bee. But I would post signs. Is the creek on your property? That's also a problem. Some things are considered "attractive" and if not fenced it could be an issue even if they are trespassing. I would put up both signs, bee yard and no trespassing just to be safe. I fenced our hives in so the dogs, kids and anything else wouldn't lumber into them.
 

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I think no trespassing signs are hardly neighborly. My kids cut through my neighbor's property all the time, and she smiles and waves at them. She has actually told her husband to cut a path through her woods for them.

What makes you think that these kids would throw rocks at your hives? The next time you see them, let them know what you're up to. Offer them some honey.

EVERY day, I have kids run through my yard, just yards from my hive. I think nothing about it. I actually thought it was funny the other day, my kids and their friends were throwing ants onto the entrance and watching the bees escort them out. Of course, I would never have anything but gentle bees.
 

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I had 3 hives last summer, I notified the neighbors on both sides I was getting bee's made sure none of them were allergic. At the end of the year I asked them if the bee's caused any problems during the summer and they both told they never even noticed them. Keep in mind the bee's get up and spread out, they don't just hang around home.
 

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"Good Fences make Good Neighbors"

you can have all the 'good' kids around all it takes is for one kid to come up with a bad idea and things go sideways quickly.

another good piece of advice in situation like this is " an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

Take those reasonable steps to make sure people are able to knowingly prevent themselves from getting into trouble and you're halfway there.

even if some troublemaker sues they don't necessarily have to win. just the court costs, time and stress of dealing with it have caused more trouble than one person would want, even if the lawsuit is an act of idiocy.

personally, I try to educate people approaching the area as much as possible with signs, direct contact, etc.. If nothing else, the more people you inform, the less they can use the excuse " I didn't know."

Big Bear
 

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at any given time i have at least 8 kids running between my backyard and my neighbors. Not a big deal right. Well, they all understand that the bees will get them if they irritate them, and in fact some of them did get the "one who didnt want to listen" I was so mad he my girls had to sacrifice themselves because of this idiot. Anyway, they run right past my hives to get to their fort, and have never been stung or bothered except for the one time. He was 3 and throwing rocks and not listening. I went and told his dad, and he completely understood.
 

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In order to minimize the chance of being sued you should do a couple of things. The next is post a sign near your bees saying something like "Caution! Honeybees at work. Do not disturb!"
We had a lawyer as a member of our bee club, he suggested not putting up the bee signs, he said it was an admission of guilt. like having a sign warning vicious dog, and your dog actually bites some one, just hand them your wallet. I have them up only because all land is considered posted in N.Y. and I have them so far back that they can't bee seen, so I can't see how they would be an atractive nuisence.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The creek is on my property. Also, my property is hilly and there is an area with a sharp drop-off that has a "shelf" of sorts. The shelf is about 10 feet long and 5 feet wide and if you understand the lay of the land you can easily walk onto the shelf. The shelf is about 6 feet below the land above it and about 15 feet above the ground below. I was thinking this is where I'd place the hives and that I'd paint the hives a color to blend in with the background - likely brown.

Any kids would have to walk over a crest to get to my property and would naturally avoid the cliff area. They would then have to look back and then up to spot the hive. It's not impossible, but this is about as hidden a spot as you can get that is still friendly to the bees.

. Is the creek on your property? That's also a problem..
 

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Get a couple of extra veils, some large white shirts at Goodwill. Invite the neighbor kids to get up close and personal with the bees. Make sure someone takes pictures of them holding a frame of bees that they can post on their Facebook/Myspace page. You will soon be the coolest neighbor around!
 

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We had a lawyer as a member of our bee club, he suggested not putting up the bee signs, he said it was an admission of guilt. like having a sign warning vicious dog, and your dog actually bites some one, just hand them your wallet. I have them up only because all land is considered posted in N.Y. and I have them so far back that they can't bee seen, so I can't see how they would be an atractive nuisence.
I wouldn't use this person as an attorney. By not identifying a danger you are MORE liable in a lawsuit. IE - Not warning that improper use of a drug will harm you. Not warning that an electric line has 1700 volts. Not warning that putting your hands into certain part of a machine will chop it off. etc, etc. If you can show that you exhibited "reasonable" means to warn of potential dangers you are less liable then if you chose to ignore these dangers and were negligent in your diligence.
 

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In your location, I would be more worried about bears and other critters than kids.

Do you know these children personally? If so, the idea to invite them to be involved might be a good idea. Never know when you might turn one of them into a baby beek.

I live fairly near Virginia Tech--a recognized ag college, and one enterprising soul here puts up signs warning that these are "test bees" and therefore poisonous. It's not just kids you have to worry about. There are plenty of stupid adults, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
In your location, I would be more worried about bears and other critters than kids.

Do you know these children personally?

It's not just kids you have to worry about. There are plenty of stupid adults, too.
I've been here two years have seen deer and possums, no bear - nor have I heard of bear. I notice my motion activated lights are often on in the middle of the night so there are a few things roaming around. The kids live on another cul-de-sac that is at a 90% angle to my property, so my back acerage is behind their back yard - and since they are on another street I don't know them.

If I find an adult in the woods behind my house, that's when I dial 911. There is absolutely no reason for an adult to be on the wild area of my property other than crime.
 

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If I find an adult in the woods behind my house, that's when I dial 911. There is absolutely no reason for an adult to be on the wild area of my property other than crime.
:eek:t:

Huh? Kids in that area are just playing, but adults are intent on crime? I'm sorry, but that really doesn't follow. Plenty of adults enjoy exploring wooded areas, and plenty of kids commit crimes. All of them should ask before entering your property, but most of them don't know where the property lines are.
 

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Not trying to be an alarmist but you might want to consider limiting who comes on your property. Don't know your state laws but in some/most states there is a principle of law that says if people are coming across your property for some period of time -- some number of years -- that will create a public right of way and you loose the right to stop it. Could devalue the property at selling time. The way around this depending on local law if you have neighbors you want to accommodate is to give them permission in writing to use your property as access to the pond or whatever.

Another point is that if people are coming on your property with your knowledge even though you do not know them, they are not trespassers in most states but rather are considered invitees and the land owner owes them a higher duty.

Actually I agree with that lawyer's warning to a certain extent . If the dog is vicious, okay to the sign but it is a mistake if your dog is in fact not a vicious dog. And most people who put up beware of the dog signs have a fence restraining the dog so the sign warns not to come in the fenced area. Here children are allowed to roam at will. So why in the world would you want to claim to have poisonous bees or dangerous bees? Dangerous products should be labeled dangerous but a non African honeybee is not dangerous in the normal course. The beeyard sign - okay - but the best defense is the one mentioned of burden of proof of the complainer having to show who owns the bees when they exist wild also. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
:eek:t:

Huh? Kids in that area are just playing, but adults are intent on crime? I'm sorry, but that really doesn't follow. Plenty of adults enjoy exploring wooded areas, and plenty of kids commit crimes. All of them should ask before entering your property, but most of them don't know where the property lines are.
Adults are not welcome to play in my creek. That's my decision. I don't trust the maturity level of an adult who will invade what is OBVIOUSLY private property and I certainly don't trust the maturity level of an adult who wants to come play in my creek. Most adults have the brains to explore PUBLIC wooded areas and those that don't also are not welcome. I'm not the middle of nowhere. I'm in a neighborhood, with an association - all lots are 2 to 6 acres. I don't expect any hunters, birdwatchers or spelunkers to be dropping by. I have a wife and mother-in-law to protect and you can second guess me all you want, that is where my responsibility lies.

Also, these kids appear to be about 8 years old and focused on nothing more than the creek. They've shown no interest in my house and they've never bothered the garden bench I have down by the creek bank. They just want to be kids and play in the water. Should they nose around my house for no good reason, or should they vandalize the garden bench then I will ask them to leave every time I see them.
 

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We were instructed in class not to have our hives in a noticeable location and I've read that we shouldn't make it "known" to everyone that the hive is there because it draws too much attention. So where is the fine line between making it "known" and taking precautions? I was going to get the sign to put on my fence in case kids (for some odd reason) decided to come on our property or in case a utility many had to access the backyard, but then one of the books I read said not to display signs because it was making too much of an announcement. We are contemplating putting up a privacy fence now since the one we have is chain link.
 
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