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First let me say hello, my names Charlie my wife and I and our two children live in Bozeman Montana. I have been wanting to keep bees for awhile and need some honest advice. I have read and interneted and I have so much information going in my head I feel a tad overwhelmed . So I'll keep it simple. 1- is it irresponsible to think I can keep one hive in my backyard in town(60x60 yard , small town about 60000 poeple) 2- I have a nine year old and a toddler? Would the children disturb the hive with normal play ie; trampoline playing catch etc...I haven't experienced a hive yet and don't know how much space and quiet they need? Like a lawn mower or the trash truck? I am a fabricator by trade and can build anything so a small fenced area or protective barrier or the like wouldn't be a problem but first thing on my mind is the kids saftey. if we pass these tests I'll post other questions on hives and management. I've checked with the city and there are no laws against keeping bees nor any restrictions therein , they did say it could fall under the same penalty as a barking dog or if I put the hive under a neighbors window etc...so I get it just curious if others are doing this and if there are horror stories, I romanticize about them being gentle and friendly like 80,000 little pets lol! Ok so we'll see how you responded before asking questions on beekeeping hives and methods. Thank you for your honest opinions Charlie
 

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Charlie - 1. NO it's not irresponsible at all. Honestly I would actually suggest TWO hives as a beginner so that you have a backup to help out in emergencies.

2. The yard space is fine. I would if I were you put a fence around them and point the opening of the hives at a wooden fence away from the yard if possible. The bees will just fly straight up and over it to go where they need to.

3. The only thing that really messes with the bees as far as disturbances is when the exaust gas of lawnmowers/weedeaters is blown into the entrance of the hives. You can mow around them with no problems, just make sure the exaust is pointed away from them.

4. LOTS and LOTS of people from the cities are starting to keep bees. Some do quite well in the honey stores as well due to the flowers around towns.

5. Honey bees can be very gentle creatures. Some races need very little smoke to handle them. Do some reading on Carniolan bees since you are in Montana. Those do very well in colder climates.
 

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We manage hives in city gardens and back yards so I would suggest 1 of 2 ideas. For certain a small fence is in order such to keep the kids away from the entrance, we place the hives about 5' from the fence. An even better idea would be to have a barrier in front of the hives, about 5'+ away, solid and 4-5; tall. The solid barrier will force the bees to fly up and over the heads of anyone in the yard. In our area some cities require an 8' solid fence for the same reason. Just a thought but you should be OK in either case.

Irresponsible, not at all. Beekeeping is a fun and interesting hobby and you may find that your 9 year old want to suit up and help. This is quite safe with proper gear for the kids.

Quiet, noise, etc. is usually not an issue but it really depends on the bees. There are a number of kinds of honey bees but there is always a chance to get a queen that produced cranky offspring (which is easily solved).

Hope this helps.
 

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As mentioned above, all will adapt. Be careful at first as anyone would in a new or changed environment but I say go for it. Think of the great education you're providing.
 

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All can be okay, or you could have a problem with the aspect of a 60 X 60 yard a bee hive and playing kids, I am not saying it is a no go, but placement. fences, flight paths, and other environmental issues need to be looked at and the logistics worked out.

As bee keepers we all like to think of honey bees as gentle cooperative creatures. which they can be. But at times even the best hive can be somewhat cranky. get a week into a queenless hive and you will know what I mean. have a bee get caught in your hair while jumping on a trampoline, and you will know what I mean.

I love bees and I am in no way attempting to discourage anyone from joining my family of bee lovers, I simply think that under this circumstance the best advise anyone can offer would be to find someone close to you who has significant experience with beekeeping. Have them look the situation over with you. discuss the pros and cons and how if at all this can be accomplished with the best results for the bees, you, your family, and your community.

Then make the decision based on those findings.
 

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Smart protection and barriers like others have stated make the most sense and is practical.

There is no greater learning experience than to do. My son was adamant that keeping bees was a bad idea and that he would be swarmed playing in the backyard, the world would come to an end, blah blah. We attended a beekeeping class together and he was involved with it all. Guess who now gets upset if inspections are done when hes not there? In today's world of buy everything from a store or out of a drive through window, this is a great way to teach how interconnected things really are.

There are times when the girls are a little cranky and we have learned to recognize that and leave then be, but the learning value alone far outweighs those minor inconveniences in my book.
 

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>1- is it irresponsible to think I can keep one hive in my backyard in town(60x60 yard , small town about 60000 poeple)

I think I've always had a bigger yard than that, but I've had a regular lot in town with bees in it for decades with no issues.

>2- I have a nine year old and a toddler? Would the children disturb the hive with normal play ie; trampoline playing catch etc...I haven't experienced a hive yet and don't know how much space and quiet they need?

I raised five kids and now have four grandkids living at my house with bees in the backyard. In all that time there have been three stings that weren't wasps or yellow jackets and only one that wasn't stepping on them barefoot. And I've harvested in the kitchen for 40 years...

>Like a lawn mower or the trash truck? I am a fabricator by trade and can build anything so a small fenced area or protective barrier or the like wouldn't be a problem

A six foot high fence is a great idea. I've never had one, but it is a good idea.

> but first thing on my mind is the kids saftey. if we pass these tests I'll post other questions on hives and management.

Obviously the kids need to be educated about the hive. Don't stand right in front of the entrance. Obviously don't throw rocks at it... if you the bees go after you run in the house and close the door...

>I've checked with the city and there are no laws against keeping bees nor any restrictions therein , they did say it could fall under the same penalty as a barking dog or if I put the hive under a neighbors window etc...so I get it just curious if others are doing this and if there are horror stories, I romanticize about them being gentle and friendly like 80,000 little pets lol!

Usually... but like a dog, usually they are nice, but sometimes a hive is just mean...
 
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