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Question: What do I do with cranky neighbors
move them - 12 (70.6%)
sell them - 5 (29.4%)
Total Voters: 16


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Author Topic: Neighbor's are mad  (Read 5352 times)
kilowatts
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« on: August 25, 2008, 08:03:49 AM »

Hello there, I'm Krissy Watts.   I live in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I have been a member for a while, but I do not get on here often enough.  I hope everyone is doing well.  I have had my bees in my back yard for 4 years now.  I have never had any problems with my bees with my neighbors until now.  Most are happy to see someone taking a positive approach into helping the bee population.  Most are happy to get free honey as well.  I usually give most of it away, heaven knows, I don't make any money on this hobby.  I do it for Mother Nature.

I have a neighbor 4 houses down from me.  An older couple.  They have a nicely landscape back yard with a "flowing" pond.  We'll one day (LAST SUMMER) my children were down visiting with their grandchildren.  I went down to say hello to them as well. I was invited to the backyard.  I was amazed at how nicely landscaped it was for such a small backyard.  Mr. Schwartz then showed me where "MY" bees rest on a trickling ridge in his pond to get a drink of water.  I did see a large group there, but PEACEFUL!!!!!  No swarming about, no bees popping off your head or anything to that manner.  

A few weeks later, Mr. Schwartz told me that one of "MY" bees killed one of the mother fish that just had babies.  (No, it couldn't have been anything else, like maybe stress of having a huge lot of baby goldfish!)  So I apologized profusely, I told them I wasn't sure why that would happen and that I do not mean any harm.  Mrs Schwartz told me not to worry it would be okay.  So the rest of the season I did not hear anything.

This year comes along.  It's a great year for my bees, I hope everyone else is doing well as I am.  My bee inspector was very impressed with the brood yield and honey yield I am having.  "Very Healthy Bees"  So after my harvest earlier in July, I took some down to all my neighbors.  Mrs. Schwartz told me that "MY" bees are swarming around them when they change the pond's water filter.  She stated that her and Mr. Schwartz were going out of town and that they were  concerned about the young man who would be changing the filters while they were gone.  I told them I would be happy to change it for them.  They told me "No"  I said to them just let me know, I'll be happy to help, it's the least I could do.  No word for weeks, then I receive a call from Mr. Schwartz stating that the filters cannot be changed and to get with my other neighbors who were the ones trying to take care of his pond and fish.  So when I called Laurie, she stated it's not that bad and that she had not really put 2 and 2 together that they were even my bees.  She and her son had learned to go slow and work cautiously around them.  No one has been stung.  So I begged her to please tell me if it does become a problem, I would come down to do it myself, as I told Mr. Schwartz I would.  Or that I could give Zach, her son, a helmet to wear if it made him feel better.  She reassured me she would.  Our children play together everyday.  

Mr. Schwartz called 3 times yesterday trying to reach me.  I wasn't home.  The last message I received from him was "They are everywhere, they are all people, they are all over my fish, MOVE THEM!!!"

I did at one point have a place to move my hives.  The property has since sold.  I am not really wanting to move them, I am a full time college student, married with 3 kids.  I am so busy.  When they are in my back yard I can tend to them easier.  I am afraid of out of sight out of mind.

I am going to walk down there this morning when the sun comes up more to watch them in his backyard.  I need to know from everyone how to deal with this situation.  I have a city ordinance that states I can keep bees until someone complains.  I have 5 huge hives.  It would be backbreaking and heartbreaking to have to move them.  Please help....sorry this was so long.  Just wanted you to know the whole scenario.
Thanks,
Krissy
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2008, 08:32:51 AM »

maybe you could sell 2 or 3 and keep the rest and see if the situation improves.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2008, 08:40:27 AM »

Could the bees that your neighbor sees around his fish pond belong to someone else?

Could you place a waterer nearer your hives to attract your bees instead of them (assumed) going in search of water at your neighbors' houses?

I'm curious as to why your neighbor says that they killed their fish?  I have never heard of honey bees attacking a fish or any other animal unless there was a threat to the hive or bees themselves.  Curious!
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2008, 08:45:28 AM »

It sounds like you've developed a great relationship with everyone and the bees.  I think, though, what you have described might be a bit excessive in terms of number of hives.  I live in a neighborhood of 8000 ft2 yards so I have neighbors very close.  I have 1 hive and one recent split and probably will leave it at that, maybe one more.  I have a neighbor with a koi pond who gets some visits but not a lot.  Next door neighbor has bees in the pool filter, but not a lot.  If I had 5 strong hives I'd probably start having issues.  I think I can justify a small hobby to the neighbors with a couple of hives, but if I wasn't a beekeeper and found my neighbors had 5 big hives and that's why my water spigot or pool were getting covered by bees I might be upset too. 

If you reduced the bee volume by 60% would that make a difference with your neighbor?  What if you kept 2 at your house and found a place for the other 3?  Surely there are some folks at your local beekeeper group who would gladly let you have space in one of their yards.  You reduce the population at your neighbor's house and still have some bees at home for your enjoyment and you just have to make a trip to the others.  Explain what you want to do with your neighbor.  It will demonstrate you are working to find a solution for everyone.  Because it appears your neighbor has been patient and reasonable; it's just getting to be too much and is affecting their activities.
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eri
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2008, 09:38:23 AM »

If you can, maybe try to observe firsthand the behavior described as "They are everywhere, they are all [over] people, they are all over my fish."

Where I live, the wasps and yellow jackets have multiplied in the last few weeks. I used to have a visit from a few honeybees every evening on the deck. They have gone, now replaced by pesky yellow jackets crawling on food, drink, me. Wasps and hornets gather spiders and bees to feed to their larvae, so maybe they are attracted to the baby fish, dead or alive. Never heard of honeybees being carnivores! If mistaken identity is not the case, seems it would in any event help your decision if you could see for yourself what is happening.

Me? I'd sell the cranky neighbors. Costs too much to move them smiley
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2008, 09:43:46 AM »

How do bees kill fish is what I would like to know.

This couple sounds like some of the old bats that used to live near my family when I was growing up in town.  There's no win with people like that.  I would NOT move your hives if you are in within your legal boundaries.

From the look of your poll it sounds like you already made up your mind to quit the hobby.  NO NO NO NO NO!  Don't do that for the sake of these people.
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asprince
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2008, 09:55:14 AM »

Not enough options on the poll. Keep your bees, reduce the number of hives at your house (sell or move them), and tell your neighbors that you have compromised now get over it.

Steve
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JP
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2008, 10:25:03 AM »

I feel your pain as you have described a situation I personally went through this spring in fact. It was an ongoing thing as well.

If you haven't been supplying your bees with a hefty water source then your bees are probably going to this neighbor's house and wherever they can get water.

The woman seems willing to work with you. I would suggest you work with them and lay out a plan, informing them of your plan, to add a hefty water source in your set up.

Reducing the amount of hives even temporarily can make quite a difference in impact.

I moved 17 hives from my yard to my main yard, thank goodness I have a friend with 13 acres.

The bees won't sting the gold fish but dead bees will clog the filter and dirty the water.

I think the main thing is to get through to this couple, especially the guy, that you will do whatever you can to lessen the problem, and show them how passionate you are about keeping them, just maybe you can get through to the dude.

BTW, I have about 6 hives currently at my house and haven't had complaints, yet.

Every morning I shower my plants which are a type of huge elephant ear, perhaps philodendrum?

And I mist the entrance when I can.

For now, things seem ok.

Much good luck to you!!!


...JP
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2008, 10:33:07 AM »

Tonight go out and place screen over your hives. Make sure you ventilate them well. Then tomorrow when your bees can't be out and about, go see how many bees are in the pond. If there are a lot then you are not the only problem. If there are none then you know they are all your bees.

I have a pool and have various water supplies around for dogs and chickens. I never see any of my bees congregating as you describe. I very seldom see them around any of the water at all and we have dry hot weather around here.

Are you sure they are not putting something around the pond that attracts the bees?
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2008, 12:03:59 PM »

1. I'd stress to the neighbors that one of the reasons why the plants in their backyard are doing so well is the pollination from your bees.

2. I'd add a water source for the bees, on your property, and put some lemongrass oil in the water to attract them to it. That's a suggestion I've seen made on this forum multiple times, and it really works.

3. Even with the lemongrass oil, bees are creatures of habit. Once they start visiting a spot for water or nectar or whatever, they will keep going back to it until the water or nectar is gone. The point being that you may need to ask the neighbor to cover his water source for a day or two after you get your water source put out. Once they've started using yours, that should be the end of the problem as long as you keep yours full.

4. If the neighbors keep pushing, then I say let them. I wouldn't reduce my hives or get rid of them. When they file a complaint, encourage them to tell the local officials that one of your bees killed a goldfish. They'll get recognized as nutjobs and that should be the end of your problems.
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2008, 01:27:41 PM »

Interesting poll...how in the world are you going to move or sell your cranky neighbors? grin

Well, they are neighbors, and you do need to live near them.  And they can pretty easily turn the other neighbors against you if they start talking and backbiting.

I agree some compromise is in order...and there have been some great suggestions here.  Yeah, either limit the number of hives or provide a closer water source.  I would try a closer water source, use lemongrass oil as Card suggested, or even some bleach will help, but as mentioned it may take till next year before they use the closer source.

Other than createing some alternative water sources, it sounds like you've done what you can so far this year though.  Perhaps beg for some time, stating how impossible it will be for you to move them right now, and how they will be much better in a month.

Rick
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WayneW
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2008, 01:40:17 PM »

5 big, healthy hives in an urban setting is a bit excessive (depending of course on your neighborhoods layout. If the yards are close, and there are many homes (especailly ones with childern) then you might want to rethink the number of hives. I currently have 1 hive, and will expand to 2 hives in the spring. I will do this only because it has been recommended to me by every beekeeper i know to have 2 hives, 1 is just a bad idea. But in looking forward, i will be looking for somewhere else to have a "main beeyard" when i decide to expand.

To me, being a responsible beekeeper means caring for my bees, and neighbors/neighborhood as well.( NOT inferring you're not responsible)

Rather than enforcing strict limits on hive numbers, many locales will leave beekeeping up to "nuisance odrinances"... as you stated "They're ok as long as no one complains" the problem is there is too little understanding in the non-beekeeping public, and too much fear. So it dosent take much of a complaint to touch things off. If you can not come to terms with your neighbors, and decide to fight them over a large number of hives, you may become the reason an ordinance will be set in place, possibly forbidding beekeeping for everyone in your location.

Try to keep all you can, and comprmise as much as possible. But in the end, a huge fight in court or even in the neighborhood will only weaken your point, and further solidify the fear(s) of you neighbors.
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Nelly
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2008, 01:48:15 PM »

I like the idea of closing your bees in the hive, then see if the bees at your neighbor's house disappear... or not.  Maybe they aren't your bees. 

I also think that the water source is a good idea.  I doubt if you can get your neighbor to shut down his pond, it sounds like more than he's willing to do.  I have a koi pond and I've never seen bees around the water, just FYI.

While they will sound like nutjobs, your neighbors may file a formal complaint... and a complaint is still a complaint, wacky or not.  If other neighbors get on board, the ordinance people might feel compelled to enforce the ordinance and make you move your hives.  I'd keep communication lines open with the wife, she sounds reasonable.  Take her some cookies.

I'm sorry you're in such a frustrating situation.

Nelly
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2008, 02:43:20 PM »

Do everything you can to be a good neighbor but DO NOT give in and move or get rid of the bees. People in the US have to get over themselves.  Students cant bring peanut butter to some schools because a minority of students have allergies.  We always cave to the minority at the expense of others.   If two people don't like honeybees then they should move to a place where bees don't exist, like Neptune. 

1.  Put out some water with lemongrass as mentioned previously.
2. Give the folks some honey.
3. When the old folks are away, have a cement truck fill in their pond.  Problem solved.   grin
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2008, 03:06:58 PM »

The point of closing your hives for a day is.... If there are still a lot of bees then why deprive yourself of your bees if the problem doesn't go away with your bees gone?
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kilowatts
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« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2008, 04:03:38 PM »

 grin  You all are so informative and very funny.  I do like the cement truck idea.  However, I am the type of neighbor that tries to be very friendly and responsible.  I have had swarms at times where I felt responsible for retrieving them just to make sure no one gets hurt by them and give them away to a friend of mine who has started beekeeping.  Yes, I asked, he has no more room for mine.

Believe it or not, I have a huge pool in my backyard.  Very nice and clean.  I even have little floats all over for them when we are not using the pool ourselves.  It's really cute because when the bees come over and land on one of my kids or maybe the hubby, they all sit still so the little bees can get their little drink and bee on their way.  It's great to have people respecting those hard working girls. 
 
My husband, Randy and my son, Wade have big and little water dishes all over the front and back yards with little floats in them as well.  They love the bees as much as I do.  It is really something, they did this all on their own, I had never told them about it they had just followed "Mom".

So I will do the Lemongrass oil idea in all the watering dishes, I have wanted to sell some hives all summer, I'll get more active with that, I'll watch the bees activity for a few days in my neighbors backyard, and I will work to compromise with them, But I will never surrender to them an activity and passion I feel that has brought me closer to Mother Nature and to my family.

Thank you all very much for the very insightful ideas you have given to me.  I appreciate your time very much.  I will keep you posted.

Sincerely thanks again,
~Krissy
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« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2008, 06:50:08 PM »

You could do nothing, it will be winter soon and they will not be flying much.

Steve
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« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2008, 08:01:56 PM »

I like the idea of closing your hives for a day. Also you can set some Yellow jacket traps. Place them near the pond and see what you catch. We have yellow Jackets and wasp every where this year. I have showed my neighbors the difference between Honey Bees and wasps and Yellow Jackets. Education is the best, but speak softly. Good Luck  Tony   
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« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2008, 09:24:39 PM »

I'd add a water source on your property and see if you can't get them trained to it.  If you do move them, I'd set up three empty hives with no bees in place of the full ones and see if you still get complaints.  Odds are there are other bees around.
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« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2008, 10:56:21 PM »

!. The fish are dying because they see the bees as a food supply (flies) and when one gets stung while eating death is the result.  A little education is necessary here.
2. Show your neighbors your screened hives so they know any bees that show up the next day are not your bees., a nice bit of education.
3. Set up your own watering system and bait it with lemon grass oil and get the bees going to it.  Show and explain that to the nieghbor....not all the bees will quit going to his pond but between knowing you're trying to mitigate a problem and that all the bees showing up at his pond aren't all yours it should help.
4.  Reduce the number of hives in your back yard.  Most communities that do allow beekeeping having ordinances that limit the number of hives by lot size.  A normal 75X100 lot is typically allowed up to 3 hives.  Smaller means less.  One acre lot usually allows up to 6.

You do not need neighbors complaining to City Hall to the point that the City Father's decide to inact a more restrictive beekeeping ordinance.
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