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Virtually Verdant

Bees & Neighbours!

Greetings Apiarian Folk!

Some advice please. I’m getting one or maybe two hives of Buckfast Bees next spring. I’m taking the time this summer/autumn and winter to learn about all things bees from a beekeeper friend. And I’m also getting all my beekeeping kit together.

I live in the suburbs and have two large parks in my area, one in front and behind my house. My beekeeper friend tells me I have an ideal location for the two hives, but I’m worried about my neighbours and talking to them about my plans to get bees. Unfortunately my neighbours worship at the altar of ‘The modern convenience lifestyle’ and barely tolerate my ‘Good Life’ style garden. I think that having bees would send them right off the high board. Folks around here seem to think that bees are flying blood thirsty piranhas that just want to swarm into their homes and sting them to death!

I get the feeling that my bees will be considered the culprits for any insect wrong doings in the neighbourhood. I have been very pro-active in my preparations. I have put up a seven foot fence around the entire garden and cleared an area for my hives that will be good for them but will also cause as little disturbance to my neighbours as possible. I not sure what more I can do?
Jamanda

Site the bees so the front of the hive faces the high fence. Then they will go straight up when flying out.
iaf

It will also depend on your neighbours; I have 2 hives in the garden, one of the neighbours moans all the time (not just about bees, if you gave her a block of gold, she'd moan how heavy it was). I asked her if they'd ever stung her or actually done anything in her garden (flight paths dissuade them to); the answer was no but she still moans.
Tavascarow

What you have done is perfectly adequate. As to the neighbours attitude that can sometimes be sweetened with a jar of honey, but you will need to control swarming & try to educate the neighbours as best you can.
I find the more people know about their fascinating lives the more they come around to being bee friendly.
I've never kept Buckfast bees but I've read that when they cross out to other strains the resultant progeny can be temperamental so regular requeening might be necessary.
Virtually Verdant

Jamanda, iaf & Tavascarow, thank you all for the good advice. 1. High fence and hive facing it to get a higher flight plan for the bees. 2. Re-Queen and prevent swarming 3. Neighbours moan but live with it. Shocked I'll take your advice about the honey sweetner too Tavascarow.

My garden is 60ft by 30ft and with my fruit trees, raised beds and layered plantings, my neighbours might not even realise that I have bees. I think I'll just forge ahead, say nothing until the first honey harvest and then I'll take round to the neighbours a honey jar or two. I might have to explain what honey is because it won't be wrapped in a MacDonalds wrapper or have microwave cooking instructions on the jar.

I would hate to have a neighbourhood war on my hands because I feel that keeping bees will give me a great deal of satisfaction and stress relief. I said to my Beek friend that when I was near his hives I got an intense feeling of contentment and I was surprised how relaxed it made me feel.

A question for you all if I may. 'What find of bees do you have? Does anyone have Russian honey bees or British Black Honey Bees?
gythagirl

Quote:
I feel that keeping bees will give me a great deal of satisfaction and stress relief



hahahahaha (gives a hollow laugh...)
Virtually Verdant

Quote:
I feel that keeping bees will give me a great deal of satisfaction and stress relief



hahahahaha (gives a hollow laugh...)




Oh please don't spoil the illusion gythagirl, it's got to beat keeping geese surely! Very Happy
Mistress Rose

If you can develop the feeling of relaxation near the hives. Bees can sense fear and you will do far better with them if you are relaxed. I have even had to retrieve tools from near a particularly vicious hive because I could relax near them.

I wouldn't tell you neighbours. Not sure I would even take the honey round. If you can keep bees for several years without them knowing, any complaints they may make can be countered by the bees being there since 20..

We have never had Buckfast bees, but someone locally that did found they were no better about swarming than other varieties, so watch out for that. Think in the past we have had New Zealand queens, but our current lot are pretty well hybrids. At least two of them have almost certainly fetched up from a local beekeeper that 'never has swarms'. Laughing
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