Author Topic: Bee Keeping Etiquette Update p. 25  (Read 2825 times)

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doodlemor

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Bee Keeping Etiquette Update p. 25
« on: December 09, 2012, 12:11:34 AM »
There was an article in the Buffalo News today about a woman in a nearby suburb who wants to keep a beehive in her yard.

http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121207/CITYANDREGION/121209258/1003

She wants to do this because it is good for the environment.  She already has a hive in a vacation home that she owns in a rural area, so she does have some bee-keeping experience.  She feels that she knows the proper bee keeping procedures and that her new residents would not bother the neighbors.

Two years ago bee lady sent the neighbors a letter that she intended to put a hive in her back yard.  She backed down then when some of the neighbors protested.

There is going to be a public hearing about her request to keep bees in her village.  One neighbor has already told the woman that she is extremely allergic to bee stings.

What do you think about this, ehellions?  At least one person [the allergic neighbor] is likely very opposed to having a hive nearby.   

Is the neighbor justified in protesting what the bee lady can do in her own yard, even if the village board approves the hive?

Even if the hive is approved, should the bee lady go ahead with her idea when some/one of her neighbors is very concerned about having more bees in the area?

I think that the basic etiquette questions here could be extended to those who want to keep chickens and goats in populated areas, too. 





« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 04:38:47 PM by doodlemor »

Phoebelion

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 07:15:31 AM »
I have mixed feelings on this one.

As long as the city allows it, the woman has the right.

But then, DH is also extremely allergic to bee stings - any kind of sting actually.  He carries an epie pen.  He's so bad he's been told he has 20 minutes to get to the hospital even with the epipen.  No more camping for us.  And certain bushes/flowers have been removed from our yard. 

I'd say it would be the degree of the allergy - maybe.  And how far the woman lives from her - maybe.   

If the city allows it, I think she should get the neighbors together and educate them on bees.  While they may have a wide flight range, I believe they are less volitile than other stinging insects. 

I honestly don't know what we'd do if a neighbor kept bees.   

veryfluffy

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 07:24:39 AM »
As long as something is legal, and the person follows the rules and best practice on their own property, I don't think it crosses into the bounds of etiquette. Bees, perhaps, do spread out of the owner's yard -- but if you are allergic then it is up to you not to have anything in your garden that will attract them.

Otherwise, how far does this extend? Bees can range over quite a wide area, so what if the neighbour three doors down has them? Should your next-door neighbour on the other side cut down their apple tree to make sure the bees don't fly past your yard to get there?
   

camlan

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 09:29:05 AM »
I have really mixed feelings about this. I know someone who keeps bees at his vacation house, and no one has ever been stung there. But the hives are a distance from the house, and there's plenty of vegetation all around, flowers, strawberry bushes, grasses, etc.

It seems a little Special Snowflaky to me to want a second hive when she can have all the bee hives she wants at her vacation home. Why does she need to have one at her other home? And if it is a typical suburban environment, the bees may have to search longer distances to find pollen.

On the other hand, bees will set up a hive anywhere they want to. So there could be a hive on your property or your neighbor's and you'd have no warning about it, until you came face to face with a bee. It's not like she's introducing a danger that could only be present if a person introduced it--bees can live just about anywhere.

What it comes down to, for me, is that she can have as many bee hives as she wants at her vacation home. Therefore, I think she should be content with them, and not try to introduce a hive into an area where she knows at least one person is very allergic to bees.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


DollyPond

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 09:40:18 AM »
But you just KNOW that as soon as Allergic Lady gets stung (by anything, be it a bee or a wasp) she'll be blaming BeeKeeper and wanting to sue.  If BeeKeeper had not informed the neighbors all would probably be well.

DollyPond

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 09:43:49 AM »
Quote
I think that the basic etiquette questions here could be extended to those who want to keep chickens and goats in populated areas, too. 

One place where I lived (definitely not completely rural) said I was allowed to keep up to 4 chickens.  I lived in an apartment.

Dazi

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 10:06:00 AM »
I'm severely allergic to bees and I carry an epi pen and a back up one in case the first one fails.

Personally, as long as it is legal in her area, it wouldn't bother me. 

Bees can be anywhere and live just about anywhere.  In an suburban neighborhood environment, the best thing for anyone with severe bee allergies is to remove bee attractive plants from their yard, carry an epi pen at all times and be aware of their surroundings.  Even if bee keeper lady doesn't put in her hive, it is almost guaranteed that there are already bees in the area.  Bees rarely sting unless they feel threatened or are stepped on/swatted at.

A HS friend of mines parents kept honey bees on their property.  Never in all the years I knew him, did I ever get stung on their property...and I got fantastic fresh, unprocessed honey. I've only ever gotten stung by accidentally disturbing a hive when I was a child...it was in a fallen log and my foot went through it as I went over it, swatting at one that flew past my face several years later and a repeat of the swatting a few years after that.  After learning how not to appear aggressive to bees from HS friend, I haven't been stung in 17 years.
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buvezdevin

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2012, 10:11:33 AM »
My next door neighbors kept a hive, and my concern was whether or not they were knowledgable - they also kept a rooster, whole 'nother story.  My neighborhood is considered "in town" *now*, but  prior to any housing development in the 50's it was zoned to allow livestock, and that zoning has not been changed, perhaps in part due to a small, but commercial equestrian center nearby.

If neighbors are taking care of whatever activities they are legally allowed to pursue, and they don't present significant risk, or intrusion of enjoyment of other's property - good, though noting that zoning allowances don't always keep up with changes in the general character and use of any area.

In the linked case, I, too have mixed feelings.  I agree that bee-keeping, by knowledgable and diligent folks is usually an environmental plus, and folks with allergies or other like considerations for naturally occurring elements of the environment need to manage a risk that can be present with or without someone's purposeful introduction of bees or the like.  But, if I had such an allergy, I would also pursue legal means to limit the addition of risk to me, in the present case by attending any hearings and requesting that bee-keeping not be allowed.  If a governing body chooses to allow it, I would seek to meet with any bee-keeping neighbor to see what, if any, considerations could be made, regarding hive location and care, and work to understand particulars of bee-keeping and how to mitigate my own risk.

I can't help but wonder how "butterfly poop" lady would address the matter.

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MorgnsGrl

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2012, 10:17:58 AM »
But then, DH is also extremely allergic to bee stings - any kind of sting actually.  He carries an epie pen.  He's so bad he's been told he has 20 minutes to get to the hospital even with the epipen.

Slightly OT, but just so you know, that is totally typical protocol for anyone with an allergy to insect venom; it's not necessarily an indication of how severe your DH's allergy is. Multiple (consecutive) epipens can buy you more time, depending on his allergy and overall health, so if you worry a lot about it, definitely ask the doctor some more questions.

Soprych

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2012, 02:39:18 PM »
But then, DH is also extremely allergic to bee stings - any kind of sting actually.  He carries an epie pen.  He's so bad he's been told he has 20 minutes to get to the hospital even with the epipen.

Slightly OT, but just so you know, that is totally typical protocol for anyone with an allergy to insect venom; it's not necessarily an indication of how severe your DH's allergy is. Multiple (consecutive) epipens can buy you more time, depending on his allergy and overall health, so if you worry a lot about it, definitely ask the doctor some more questions.

This is what we have been told too.  We live in a relatively remote rural area.  DD has one epi-pen for every 15 minutes we live from a 24 hour hospital.  So four.  When she wanted to do to camp we were given a script for additional epi-pens. 

magicdomino

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 02:54:30 PM »
As Dazi pointed out, there are bees and wasps everywhere.  Honeybees are actually less likely to sting, and will sting only once because the stinger is pulled out of the bee.  Wasps -- including my personal nemesis, the yellow jacket -- tend to be more aggressive in the first place, and will sting multiple times if given a chance.  I haven't been stung by a honeybee in over 30 years, although yellow jackets get me every few years.

I'm mildly allergic to stings, but would still welcome a neighbor's hives as long as they weren't placed close to somewhere I regularly work like the vegetable garden.  My suburban area has few honeybees, and there aren't enough native bees during late summer to fertilize the squashes and beans.

Deetee

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 03:16:10 PM »
As other have said, Bees are unlikely to sting anyone. They are not like wasps that hunt down scraps of food and picnics and therefore interact with people a lot more. i have been stung by wasps multiple times. If I was stung by a bee, it was over 30 years ago. (And I did have a summertime neighbour with a beehive)

Bees also go for the flowers and will lead other bees to the flowers so they keep to a fairly defined area. So you can discourage bees by not planting their favorite flowers or just staying away from the flowers. (The most likely time for a bee sting is picking a flower with a bee near or on it). I love bees and they are at risl in my area so I plant bushes that bees and butterflies like.

To answer the question, if a person with an allergy had an adjacent backyard (and especially if they were a small child and/or really enjoyed the backyard, I think it would be most polite to not put up the beehive. It sound like the woman didn't need to ask for permission so that may have been what she was checking for. But if it's legal, it is not up to anyone with allergy in a 2 block radius to veto it.

For example, I do love bees and while I plant bushes for them, I wouldn't put in a beehive (for several reasons) but partly because I back right onto a park/tennis court/soccer field and could envision a lot of collisions.

HorseFreak

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2012, 03:21:01 PM »
I was visiting a zoo a couple years ago (Atlanta maybe?) and they had flowering vines running all along the trellis over the ticket counter at the entrance with hundreds of bees flying around. They didn't bother a single person while we were there and I doubt they would leave that up if the bees were stinging left and right.

For the record, I'm terrified of bees and wasps and have never been stung.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2012, 04:02:59 PM »
She's perfectly welcome to keep bees on her property, just as I'm perfectly welcome to put insecticide on mine.  If her bees stay in her yard, there's no problem   8)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Bee Keeping Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2012, 04:17:11 PM »
If there is nothing in the town by-laws to prevent bee keeper lady from having a hive in her yard, then she is welcome to do so.  Allergic neighbour, as a PP suggested, then has an obligation to maintain a yard that doesn't attract bees.  The comparison to chickens and goats is a good one but many municipalities pass by-laws which make their keeping illegal.

I live in a suburban type neighbourhood.  To my knowledge, none of my neighbours have bee hives in their yards.  And yet, because I have a lot of flowering plants, my yard is full of bees every summer.  I'm out there gardening all the time and I've never been stung.  They are especially fond of my lavender.   :)
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