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Author Topic: Apiary at a park  (Read 5551 times)
SystemShark
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« on: May 29, 2008, 02:16:01 PM »

I may have mentioned it before but I'm trying to get with the local parks and services to allow me to set up an Apiary at one of the many public parks in the area. About a week ago I sent in a letter outlining my plan and last Tuesday it was brought up at the Municipal meeting. Originally the gentleman I was dealing with told me it wasn't necessary for me to make an appearance and that the letter I wrote would be sufficient but I called him today and he said that the decision was left in limbo because there were some additional questions. Unfortunately the next meeting isn't until near the end of next month (June 24th).

According to my phone call the two major concerns they had were Public Safety and Vandalism. So I'm trying to prepare for next month, this is where you can help! If anyone has any experience keeping bees at a public place how do you address those issues?

Here's what I got so far"

Public Saftey
  • Signs ( Warning, What to do when stung, emergency phone numbers, how to act around bees )
  • Alert nearest emergency care facility to the presence of the apiary.
  • Good distance from commonly used park areas. (Ie: not putting them in the middle of a baseball field!)

I also plan to educate the decision makers at the meeting a little about honey bees...Active months, how long they typically pursue people, how they react when encountered near the hive and further away from it, bee venom facts, ect..

Vandals
  • Signs - Warning(Honey bees stay back), Watch (Apiary Regularly Monitored) , Response (if theres a problem call #)
  • Regularly monitor the apiary at least once a week
  • Placement in a visible area - that is out of the way
  • Fence in the apiary - locks?
  • Motion detection lights ?
  • Some kind of alarm system ?

I'm not sure, some of that stuff seems pretty excessive (the ' ? ' bullets). I figure there isn't much a vandal could do worse than a bear. Then again maybe an electric fence wouldn't be a bad idea either... I doubt that would fly with the town hall people tho.

The park I originally wanted to have the apiary at is pretty well built up, newer and it gets a fair amount of traffic; so they may counter with offering a different location..which isn't out of the question for me.

I look forward to your ideas and responses!
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Bennettoid
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 02:35:39 PM »

I was at our local little league complex last night and thought about what a great spot it would be to have a few hives, but security would pretty much be impossible and the local teenage hoodlums would never leave them alone.
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 02:37:56 PM »

I hate the idea.

Parks are meant to be public spaces for the community. Placing a beehive, especially one with a fence around it, motion detecting light, alarm system, and under lock and key is an awful idea; Literally a child losing their frisby is all it's going to take to get the town to say no.

I'd be more open to the idea if the hive were placed up high somehow so that the flight path were well away form people. Even then I could see someone throwing a ball at it.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008, 03:21:53 PM »

I too have been attempting to get hives in public areas. No luck. It would be easy to place hive inside a dig kennel that was screened on top as well. A recent article in BC used the hive as a way to educate the public by posting inspction times on fence. people began to show up to see inspections and ask questions. I have emailed at least a dozen gardens and parks and schools. Not one has even emailed me back to say no thanx. Dont even acknowledge email. I have had some success w/ golf courses however. i now have a hive on golf club.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2008, 03:29:26 PM »

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I have had some success w/ golf courses however. i now have a hive on golf club.

I would like to hear more about how you went about this.  I thought about asking but figured they would say no since Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Public is always around.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2008, 03:34:00 PM »

I would think a chain link fence on all sides with a locking gate, several feet from the hives, and also a chain link roof might work to keep people and their things out. It won't keep kids off, and keep them from getting stung, though. I've seen people with "hive houses" that are well ventilated and provide shelter for their hives. This could be the best idea, since it could be locked, things can't be thrown at the hives, and it could be decorative.

Lights and an alarm system won't help much, but a closed circuit video camera could.

I think the warning signs are likely to generate the wrong kind of attention. First, the people who are afraid of bees will use it as "evidence" that they're dangerous and shouldn't be in a public place. Second, warning signs are like a vandal magnet..."oooh, what's that? Must be interesting if they want me to stay away!" You'd be better off with informative signs...teaching the basics about honeybees and (perhaps) visually showing the difference between them and wasps, yellowjackets, etc.

You'll also need to think about a water source if there are water fountains in the park.

I think going with a lesser-trafficked park might be a better deal, too.
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Keith13
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2008, 04:27:28 PM »

Unless you are just itching for trouble why would you want to put bees in a public place?  People, kids especially, have a curious streak others have a delinquent streak for most that streak will pull them to inspect your hives up close for a few it will pull them to throw rocks or something else at your hives both actions will result in someone getting stung. With the litigious society we live in I just could not imagine the worry those hives will generate for you and your local municipality.

That’s just me I hope it works out for you

Keith
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2008, 04:45:43 PM »

I sure would not like to imagine what your liability insurance would bee.

Can you imagine sweet thing pushing her 7 week old darling in a carriage past YOUR Apriary in a public park, bingo, little darling gets stung in the face by one of YOUR bees.

A judge and jury may "consider" if it were a couple hundred feet from YOUR hives, but any closer and YOU would probably be at fault.

A public school or public instution may get by with it,but a indivdual I got my doughts.

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2008, 06:23:36 PM »

The only way this even remotely makes sense to me is if this park is some sort of large forested area and you want to use some obscure back corner of it. I really hope you dont mean like a town park. If so, no offense, but are you crazy? a hive in a public park? NEAR a public park is enough to cause concern. Im all about educating the public about bees and the role they play in our economy and ecology, but that may be a bit too far. All it takes is one kid with allergies to get nailed and bam your either broke or in jail. If a kid dies probably both. No town in its right mind would want this. Like I said, if its a wooded park like a preserve, then maybe. the issue of vandalism is still there, but I can see where it might be OK. But a park where kids play, no dice.
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SystemShark
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2008, 11:08:13 AM »

My main reason for keeping bees in the park is because I don't have a place to keep them myself. I live in an apartment complex and altough were looking for a house I think having the apiary in a community place would be a fantastic addition to our parks. Donations could go to upkeeping the beeyard and proceedes could benifit the local parks and services; or some other charitable organization.

For some reason I can't pull up any of the links I had researched just yet but I know mine wouldn't be the first apiary set up in a public park. Maybe in my city but in the US/World its been done before so I'm trying to find those places to use as a refernce when I bring my case to the decision makers at the end of next month. So i'm not crazy ^^

If someone is deathly alergic or afraid of bees maybe going outside near the forest or in a park isn't a good idea to begin with. There would be notices set up letting people know that the bees are there. We have bees in these parks already; obviously if I moved an apiary in there would be a noticable increase, but still... not driving a car because you could get in an accident is pretty silly to me. I bet there are more car releated deaths than bee releated deaths. I realize bringing more bees in is increasing that risk but there are many benifits to having a public apiary (I think anyway).

Education is the big one. Imagine setting up feild trips or group visits. Honey tastings at the park. Bees wax seminar. Being a resource to the community when swarms around out and about. A place to put the bees after a hive removal built into a house.

Is someone going to get stung? Probobly. Is a vandal going to come in and destroy all my gear? Not out of the question. Is a curious teenager going to get to close and get severly injuered, possibly die? I don't remember the last time I heard about that happening...but the posibility is there. We'd do our best to make sure that dosn't happen and if it happens that we have resources close by to deal with the situation. Why should they nix this idea on the "what ifs" when the benifits are garunteed?

Insurance..sure its probobly not going to be cheap but it never is ^^.

If I find any of those links I'll post'em. Thanks again for all the responses.

What is the liability insurance on the golf corse? How did you go about setting that up with the owners? Any golfers get stung that you know about? What about vandals there?
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2008, 11:33:14 AM »

Please keep Us informed as too Your progress !!

Also should You be able to do this,let us know the city & park, I'm sure a number of Beeks would like to take a look at it.

Thanks & Good Luck

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2008, 01:17:52 PM »

My main reason for keeping bees in the park is because I don't have a place to keep them myself. I live in an apartment complex and altough were looking for a house I think having the apiary in a community place would be a fantastic addition to our parks. Donations could go to upkeeping the beeyard and proceedes could benifit the local parks and services; or some other charitable organization.

I understand your issue place an add on craig's list or find another beek who will let you keep some hives at his place until you can move them to yours


I


Is someone going to get stung? Probobly. Is a vandal going to come in and destroy all my gear? Not out of the question. Is a curious teenager going to get to close and get severly injuered, possibly die? I don't remember the last time I heard about that happening...but the posibility is there. We'd do our best to make sure that dosn't happen and if it happens that we have resources close by to deal with the situation. Why should they nix this idea on the "what ifs" when the benifits are garunteed?

I hear you on this as well but how are you going to explain to people they can't use the park today because of the drought the bees are a little defensive and they don't want to be bothered

Insurance..sure its probobly not going to be cheap but it never is ^^.
I doubt they will insure you either way actuaries will cut you to pieces
If I find any of those links I'll post'em. Thanks again for all the responses.

What is the liability insurance on the golf corse? How did you go about setting that up with the owners? Any golfers get stung that you know about? What about vandals there?
last i checked the golf balls don't chase you around the course when you make them mad

Keith
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derrick1p1
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2008, 02:22:46 PM »

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Education is the big one. Imagine setting up feild trips or group visits. Honey tastings at the park. Bees wax seminar. Being a resource to the community when swarms around out and about. A place to put the bees after a hive removal built into a house.

This can all be done without having hives actually in the park.  I didn't keep bees in my backyard my first year.  I put a call into my county extension and got names and numbers of gardners that might want bees in their garden...and found one.  I kept them there until I got "permission" to move them (after my partner realized they won't bother you if you don't bother them).  I also put an add in our local farming journal and received dozens of calls from farmers and/or gardeners that would enjoy having hives on their property. 

If you opt for this method, you will save yourself alot of problems in my opinion.  Have you talked to a beek that has kept hives in a park before.  Might have some advice if you do go this direction.

Good luck in your endeavors,
Derrick
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2008, 03:38:55 PM »

Parks are not held to the same negligence standards as places of commercial enterprise. Public enitites, not for profit orgs and most relgious institituions are held to far more lenient standards and as such, warning of bees is all that would be needed. I have come to find there are a handful of places where hives are kept publicly. In france, this is common. Botanical gardens, are on example where they exist. I really want a public hive. Yes there are issues, but they can be managed and overcome.
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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2008, 04:35:23 PM »

Parks are not held to the same negligence standards as places of commercial enterprise. Public enitites, not for profit orgs and most relgious institituions are held to far more lenient standards and as such, warning of bees is all that would be needed. I have come to find there are a handful of places where hives are kept publicly. In france, this is common. Botanical gardens, are on example where they exist. I really want a public hive. Yes there are issues, but they can be managed and overcome.

Yes about the parks not being held to the same negligence standards;
However We are talking about PRIVATELY Owned bees in a Public Park, I think this is quite a different thing.

And yes I wish you well in your quest, Please let us all know about any privately owned bee hives you can locate in public parks in the Good Ole USA.
Thanks
Bee-Bop
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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2008, 08:35:36 PM »

System shark,

I like your idea.  I live in Western PA as well (Penn Hills in Pittsburgh).  I have a small backyard where I keep now three hives, but am always worried my previously cool neighbors will get mad at me.

I thought about talking to a garden club or the local botanical gardens as they might actually want bees to pollinate their area.  Another idea is to talk to a local farmer and tell him you will provide pollination services for free if he/she allows you a 10X10 foot easily accessible area to place bees.

I also posted an ad online at the some organic pennsylvania farming site and got several calls from nice people telling me that they would be happy to have me keep their bees on their land for free.  They joked that they would like some honey, but all they really wanted was to be involved in something cool, natural, and scientific. 

If you can't find a place to keep your bees and you are anywhere around pittsburgh, email me at b.hough@earthlink.net.  I've got a few more ideas for you.  However, I agree that putting them in a normal park would likely be more trouble than it's worth.

b
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SystemShark
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« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2008, 09:32:25 AM »

My mentor has allowed me to keep my hives with him for the time being. His yard is getting quite full with bees now. My bees would be privately owned but my goal isn't a place for me; in the end I want it to be a community effort. If that means relinquishing some rights to my bees nplemo. I was thinking that it would be a place where other beekeeps could set some of their hives up as well...more of a public apiary if you will. Also a place where people who wanted to experience the hobby without all of the investment would be welcome.

Anyway I got a long road ahead I'll do my best and after the meeting at the end of june I'll report the happenings.
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« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2008, 09:32:50 AM »

Blendon Woods Metro Park here in Westerville has an observation hive inside the main building. The entrance goes to the aviary area where they have placed bird feeders, squirrel feeders, etc. Works out real well.. The building is vacant and locked when not attended by park rangers.

As far as the Craigslist idea, it worked great for me last year. Just place a free classified in the farming section, you'll get responses.
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2008, 09:53:16 AM »

I visited a park outside of Littleton, CO that had an observation hive in one of their outbuildings. It certainly takes care of most of the vandalism issues.

My only complaint with it was that it had a bottom entrance so that if you wanted to stand in front of the hive and watch them work the little gals were shooting out at you right about belly level (for most) and face level for kids! A top entrance would have been no problem and would have easily placed the movement at about 8 feet.

Your "predicament" also makes me think of the Serbian hives that have previously been discussed here - I bet a little shed from Lowe's or Home Depot could be retrofitted to make a little bee shed which would make a stronger structure that would be more difficult to harm as well as give you lots of wall space for signage, education and pretty pictures. You could even have a regular working hive AND an observation hive! Plus you would have room to store a few tools, etc. safely.

It wouldn't be the cheapest project ever but maybe if the township is willing they would even consider funding some of it?

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Moonshae
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« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2008, 12:39:03 PM »

Why not call or send a letter to some local farmers? I'm sure they'd be happy to exchange free pollination for year-round beeyard space. It works for me. Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2008, 12:51:46 AM »

I just re-read my own post, and I think I might need to apologize. Didnt mean to come off so harsh. The internet is a great way to communicate but it lacks nuances like facial expressions, tone of voice, and other body language needed to fully express yourself. Sorry if it looked as if I was chewing on you a bit.

My point is basically that the public is stupid. If your bees stung someone and the news reports killer bees attack, or children stung by bees unprovoked, or child maliciously attacked by bees, the public will buy it and run with it. From then its just a matter of a lawyer and deep pockets and your civilly liable. Take a look at the frivolous lawsuits that get won all the time.  I dont think your idea is impossible, it just needs further thought  and planning.

To be my own devils advocate,  it could also be about "packaging".  A stack of boxes in a fence with bees coming and going is mundane and not exciting. Not too many folks can get attached to that or take anything home from watching it. If something was to go wrong who would care if it was removed?  Do something like was mentioned in another post and slap an observation hive on it, build a small structure to house some equipment and to conceal the main part of the hive and you have something unique. You can use the opportunity to post bee facts and some pictures. Now you have a zoo exhibit, not a bee hive. Its the same thing as a regular hive, just packaged in a way the public can get something out of it. I guess you could say the public could "own" it because they can interact with it. Of course that would take funding and a whole other pile of logistics that make it more improbable to happen. With a display like that I think people would be more tolerant of a bee sting here and there vs the plain bee hive approach.   

As for looking to Europe as an example of "how they do it", well Europe is........, its just Europe. They drive on the wrong side of the road, eat cabbage stuffed in animal stomachs, only allow criminals to have guns(how do you take from the people who get them illegally in the first place?) eat snails, and a lot of their families originated from cultures that believed incest was the best way to cultivate a perfect society. I know may have just opened Pandora's Box, Im just saying that we cant really apply everything done with European standards to North American standards. 

 
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Keith13
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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2008, 08:41:26 AM »

As for looking to Europe as an example of "how they do it", well Europe is........, its just Europe. They drive on the wrong side of the road, eat cabbage stuffed in animal stomachs, only allow criminals to have guns(how do you take from the people who get them illegally in the first place?) eat snails, and a lot of their families originated from cultures that believed incest was the best way to cultivate a perfect society. I know may have just opened Pandora's Box, Im just saying that we cant really apply everything done with European standards to North American standards. 

 

I agree there was a reason we left a couple hundred years ago and it wasnn't because we loved living there so much.

Did you open Pandoras box?  yup probaly
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SystemShark
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« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2008, 08:14:32 PM »

I never thought of the Observation hive idea, that would be a great way to make it more interesting for the public. I need to think on that a little bit and see how I can incorporate it into my sh peel. A modified shed from lowes might do the trick, thx for the ideas!

I'll attach what I have so far - I'm creating a word document and adding pictures to better shoot the idea home. The pic I "enhanced" with the green/purples and copy/paste of hives/pix is just for the rough draft.. I'll probably give the idea to some of my computer graphics friends to make it look really nice.

There is a nice pic I got from google maps of the park itself and I created some labels and identified exactly where I was thinking of putting it.

http://www.bigupload.com/files/AS8PONXRQ9/Apiary_in_a_Park.doc.zip.html
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« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2008, 11:03:24 PM »

I would love to see your document but can't quite figure out how to get it from bigupload (or whatever it is called). Do I need to register there to see it?

Thanks.

- Jess
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SystemShark
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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2008, 07:14:12 AM »

No you dont have to register. Just click the link then click the "FREE" button on the bottom right.

Wait 2-3 seconds and in the top/middle area of the page a "Code" will appear. You type that code in the text box to the right and hit "download". For some reason its a bigger file (I think its the pics). The file is in .zip format so you might need to download winzip or winrar (you can google for them). I'll just get the satalite of the park and my funny looking "enhanced" photo so you guys can see that without having to DL the text file.




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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2008, 12:09:07 AM »

Nice concept--taller fence and overhead netting would help deter vandalism. 
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« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2008, 12:31:26 AM »

I would think a better idea would be to find someone with a little land that would be willing to let you keep your bees there.  I think your probably just asking for trouble.  I wouldn't want to have the headache.
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« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2008, 08:23:34 AM »

On Your original post You state a Municipal Meeting would be held on June 24, when this project would be brought up.

How did that meeting go !

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2008, 08:27:20 AM »

On Your original post You state a Municipal Meeting would be held on June 24, when this project would be brought up.

How did that meeting go !

Bee-Bop

I don't know but bee bop he will probably let you know after the meeting on the 24th Wink
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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2008, 08:44:00 AM »

Got ahead of myself didn't I !!

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« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2008, 10:05:22 PM »

Just got out about an hour ago. I'm pleased to report a unanimous vote for YES! There were 6 seated board members, 2 liasons, and a secretary. All bursting with questions and all excited about the idea.

I guess there was a special yesterday on discovery channel or something that really got them interested. They liked the location I picked out but they think there are some better locations to start with, so I got a map of all the local parks and the directory of parks and services and I are going to start collaborating to make it happen.

The general consensus was that bees exist in nature and even though there is no 100% way to prevent stings the preventative measures we can take are sufficient enough to allow us to move forward.

I'll post more when I can gather my thoughts on it but I'm excited to share my experience with you all. I guess I'm a more convincing spokesman than even I thought!
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« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2008, 10:21:00 PM »

I'm a little surprised they voted yes like that... I would have required a fence to keep young kids that are too young to read the signs from getting into the bees... seems like a tragesty waiting to happen otherwise.
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SystemShark
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« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2008, 07:30:02 AM »

I'm a little surprised they voted yes like that... I would have required a fence to keep young kids that are too young to read the signs from getting into the bees... seems like a tragesty waiting to happen otherwise.

There is a fence :p..a tall one, locked, and most likely overhead netting (as per the suggestion here). They also are planning on providing epi med kits either in a dispenser of some kind or with the park office. In addition both locations we discussed are less than 1 mile from the hospital.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2008, 01:18:41 AM »

Oh, well as long as there is a fence... the epi packs are overkill with a fence.

Sorry, I skipped a page of posts... D'OH!
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« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2008, 09:30:43 AM »

What great news! Congrats on the approval!

I am wondering about the overhead netting - obviously you are getting something that has large enough holes for the bees to pass through but does it interfere at all with their flight? I assume this is more to prevent things from being thrown into the hive arena?

I have been thinking about trying to get a hive at our community garden - the fence won't work but some netting might.

So, what is your time frame like? Is the city going to pick up the cost of fencing etc? It seems like they are really doing everything they can to make sure this is a success. I am sure once the media gets wind of this you will be the next to get your two minutes of fame!
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2008, 11:07:03 AM »

I have tried this and have failed every time so far. I cant even get passed the phone call. Congrats for you.
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« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2008, 01:58:19 PM »

I realize you probably don't need these now but I just came across photos I took of the observation hive in Lakewood, CO. Here they are in case you are interested.

- Jess





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SgtMaj
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« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2008, 10:42:41 AM »

Got my curiosity now... what's up with the TP rolls?
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« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2008, 10:46:41 AM »

Yeah, looks like a nice set up, but what's with the tp? rolls.
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« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2008, 12:52:09 PM »

You guys are too observant for me! darn!

When I took these pics a few years ago I was not as bee savvy as I am now and didn't even notice the rolls. I only noticed them just looking at the pics again, myself.

I do not have pics of what is inside the rolls and for a minute I thought it was a mason bee hive.

Honestly, I have no idea. I have a friend out there - I will see if I can get him to go get some more pics of what is in the rolls.

Maybe I should post these as a new topic and see if anyone has suggestions for what the deal is?

- Jess
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2008, 01:45:51 PM »

looks like a great place for a hive though... if you were never planning to manage it.  Can you imagine opening it up?
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tlynn
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« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2008, 09:06:23 PM »

That's just terrific!  I'm glad they voted for it.  Looking forward to hearing how it goes!  There is a park where the Tampa Bay Beekeepers Association keeps some hives and it seems to work well.

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qa33010
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« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2008, 11:17:23 PM »

   That I would like to see the next time we're in Tampa visiting family!  Which park is it?  Is it listed in a tourist guide or places to go and see?
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« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2008, 12:53:05 PM »

It's the Upper Tampa Bay Park, on Tampa Road right around the Hillsborough and Pinellas county border.  It's a bit off the beaten path in a gated field.  About 70 hives.  We have workdays there once a month, the Saturday after the first Thursday.
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2008, 02:02:05 PM »

Can I take a guess about the TP rolls, and a couple of question ?

It looks like there is no awning or shade provided for the window, these rolls would keep direct sun off the bees & frame but you could still see them thru the tubes !

Hows that for a guess ?

If they are TP rolls why don't the bees chew them up, bet they are a thin plastic ?
Also wouldn't you think they would be good places for burr comb, guess not though ?

Bee-Bop

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