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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 5588 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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.

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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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« 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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« 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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« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2008, 11:59:57 PM »

kilowatts,
I sent you a PM.
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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2008, 06:33:49 PM »

As much as I am upset with your short sighted neighbor,  I must agree that 6 hives is a bit much for a city lot.  You might find an outyard somewhere for 3 of them and enjoy it for making splits and selling or expanding.
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« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2008, 07:54:28 PM »

i wouldn't worry about it.  do some stuff to try and aleave the problem and just let it go.  some people can't be reasoned with no matter how hard you try and they seem to be that type.  i'd just forget about it maybe try to hide the hives with some shrubs and see if the problem doesn't go away.
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« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2008, 09:13:44 PM »

Change my vote tell the neighbors to move.
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« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2008, 09:52:13 PM »

Kilowatt:

You seem like a reasonable, intelligent and caring person.  I think you will find a good solution.  For what it's worth, my suggestions are to cover the pool for a few days and try the lemongrass idea.  I have also read that disolved salts in the water attracts bees.
Good luck.
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« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2008, 09:22:09 PM »

I'd say that you "might" have too many hives... I'd try to kotow (a nice word for kissing butt) this neighbor, as fall and winter are coming fast, and the bee populations will decline as well as foraging. Than, I'd try to have an attractive (for the bees) water station of some sort ready for the spring. I'd recomend a distinct aroma/smell for your water, such as the lemmongrass mentioned. Hopefully, in the spring the bees will use your fresh water supply.

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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2008, 10:55:25 PM »

If it's against the law, move them.  If it's not, tell the neighbors to move the fish.  They are keeping an attractive nuisance.  Some child will fall in and die.
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« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2008, 06:18:48 AM »

Just a thought... call your neighbor back and tell them you got rid of your bees over a week ago... (prior to their call about the bees being everywhere)... yes, lie to them.  Odds are they will completely forget about the bees, because I have a feeling there aren't that many around them to begin with it's just the thought of your hive being so close that's getting to them... oh, and do as budhanes suggested and give them a different water supply in the spring.
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« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2008, 11:37:55 PM »

I recently visited the Middle East on a business trip. While there I went out of my way and drove to every bee yard I could get to.  One of the hosts had
50 hives 2 deep high in the middle of town with a backyard smaller than an average suburban yard in New Jersey.  No one bothered....! Neighbors got his honey after they paid!!!!!

There is no place like home! But I second the opinion that we live in communities filled with people who feels too important to let a bee visit their flowers or get a drink from their pond.....! How dare people keep a hive in their yard, or do anything without calling the Police and town inspectors for the least violation (ture or imagined).  Like my neighbor who complained the other that he was buzzed by one of my beees. I told him, I am very sorry it did not take a dump on his head! He just walked away......! I have a single hive in the yard and most of my neighbors do not give a darn! However, on the block there is one or two nit-wits... who can't seem to want to live or breath without calling to complain about my bees who are all over their BBQ meat and nesting on their deck?HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh Last time he called to say my bees are nesting on his deck (Yellow jacks) so I told him to shove off!  He came over and I wanted to get physical but my wife was there and I did not want her to be upset angry

Any way...... Two more years and I would have my country home with 15 acres and no neighbors! 

I feel your pain!
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« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2008, 09:26:20 AM »

I have to agrree that there are not enough options on your poll.
There is no place to check ( Give them to CBEE ).   grin

Now if you won't give them to me then I would give them another source of water before I did anything else. Go to home depot and get a couple of those imitation half barrels. Fill them up and stick a couple pond plants in them in the spring. They like plants like water lettuce and lillys that they can land on easy.
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« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2008, 11:24:47 AM »

Quote
Now if you won't give them to me then I would give them another source of water before I did anything else. Go to home depot and get a couple of those imitation half barrels. Fill them up and stick a couple pond plants in them in the spring. They like plants like water lettuce and lillys that they can land on easy.

That's a great idea.  Makes it a bit more eye pleasing.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2008, 01:15:43 PM »

My neighbors koi pond is loaded w/ my bees. They do absolutely no harm to anything. It is entirely possible there is a yellow jacket nest adjacent to filters. Its their ideal nesting site and the response is YJ like. Go do another visual. Even if town hall comes up w/ new egs, they wont apply to you pursuant to ex poste facto protection.
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« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2008, 01:36:36 PM »

 angry

It's official now.  The Deer Park Police came to my house yesterday and verbally told me to move the bees in 10 days.  No written notification.  Just 10 days....  I have a place to move them, it's just the idea of it all that makes me so upset.
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Nelly
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« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2008, 02:11:10 PM »

There has to be a way to appeal this situation, and I wouldn't do a thing unless it's in writing.  They may just be telling you this without it being legally binding.  I would demand a written order so that you can then go through the right channels to appeal it.  If they can't give you something in writing, then it's fishy...

Good luck, so sorry for this frustrating situation.

Nelly
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« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2008, 02:19:20 PM »

Although it sounds really nice to demand a written order from the local police, in no way are the police obligated to put anything in writing.  You were told to move them (similar to being told to disperse or move your car, or any other verbal order).  I would be very careful about how you handle this from this point forward.  Perhaps contacting a senior officer at the station, going and talking with them about the situation, etc.  In other words, find out about how to challenge the ordinance or whatever they are referring to.  This would be better than in 10 days having them come back and arresting you for failure to comply.

I feel for you, but unfortunately this is the world we live in today and some people just are not up for honeybees in their backyard, no matter how important to the food chain they are.  Keep us informed.

I'm just across the river from you in Burlington (by the airport)!

www.nkybeekeeper.com 
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2008, 03:23:11 PM »

Have you talked to a lawyer yet?  That's your absolute best bet.  If you don't want to do that, then moving/selling them may be your only option... well... that, or you could bring them all inside like OB hives... with a very discreet entrance somewhere that wouldn't get noticed.  The cops can't search your house without either your permission, a search warrant (which they definately won't be able to get), or probable cause (which they won't have as long as the entrances are discreet).

Then egg your neighbor's car while it's still hot enough to bake it on.   evil
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JP
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« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2008, 05:19:32 PM »

Nelly, contact code enforcement and ask to see a copy of beekeeping ordinance in your locale. If there is some kind of ordinance read it carefully, you may even ask to see an officer in code enforcement so they can explain  your rights to you.

In my neck of the woods its code enforcement that has the upper hand not the cops.

If you are within your county's rights and attain proper documentation to keep your bees, then you could show this to the police and they will more than likely back off.

If you do not legally have the right to keep bees in your yard and because your situation has escalated, you are asking for trouble if you don't move your bees.


...JP

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« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2008, 08:25:05 PM »

I agree with JP. Find out why it is that the police are telling you move your bees.  There is no sense defying the order outright or trying silly little tricks to avoid detection.  When the police tell you to do something, you do it unless someone else with more power tells the police you do not have to comply.  It is that simple. As for the laws of search and seizure, your best bet is to speak to a licensed attorney in your jusrisdction because I can assure you that advice on the topic you have received here is ill conceived and completely wrong.
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« Reply #38 on: September 21, 2008, 11:31:05 PM »

I am not encouraging anyone to defy the police.  I just think it is reasonable to request some sort of written notice, outlining the exact nature of the violation and the deadline.  The police obviously believe she is breaking a law or ordinance.  However, the law may actually be on her side.  She needs to educate herself.

And I still believe that if they aren't willing to put it in writing, then perhaps it isn't exactly "by the book." 

A lawyer is a good idea, I would certainly be calling one to learn what my rights are.

Nelly
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JP
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« Reply #39 on: September 21, 2008, 11:53:24 PM »

I am not encouraging anyone to defy the police.  I just think it is reasonable to request some sort of written notice, outlining the exact nature of the violation and the deadline.  The police obviously believe she is breaking a law or ordinance.  However, the law may actually be on her side.  She needs to educate herself.

And I still believe that if they aren't willing to put it in writing, then perhaps it isn't exactly "by the book." 

A lawyer is a good idea, I would certainly be calling one to learn what my rights are.

Nelly

She needs to look at the ordinance and if its on the books she needs to abide by its set of rules.

Hiring an attorney is going to do what exactly?


...JP
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« Reply #40 on: September 22, 2008, 03:23:58 AM »

An attorney knows the law and how to go through the proper channels.  An attorney can file an injunction to prevent anything from happening until a judge has looked at the case, etc.  It's likely there isn't a beekeeping ordinance anywhere that prohibits her from keeping them... it's more likely that the cops are calling it public nusiance because they had to field a complaint about it.  Also, the cops don't give a darn if she has the right to keep bees.  Enforcing your rights is your job, not theirs.  If the neighbors were complaining because she dyed her hair pink, they would have told her she has 10 days dye it back, reguardless of her first amendment right to express herself through her hair color.  The cops are just looking to push around whomever will give the least push back so that they don't have to take anymore complaints.  They don't care if what they do is right, or even legal.

BTW, if there's an attorney in the local beekeepers association, they may even be willing to work for free.
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« Reply #41 on: September 22, 2008, 10:35:13 AM »

An attorney knows the law and how to go through the proper channels.  An attorney can file an injunction to prevent anything from happening until a judge has looked at the case, etc.  It's likely there isn't a beekeeping ordinance anywhere that prohibits her from keeping them... it's more likely that the cops are calling it public nusiance because they had to field a complaint about it.  Also, the cops don't give a darn if she has the right to keep bees.  Enforcing your rights is your job, not theirs.  If the neighbors were complaining because she dyed her hair pink, they would have told her she has 10 days dye it back, reguardless of her first amendment right to express herself through her hair color.  The cops are just looking to push around whomever will give the least push back so that they don't have to take anymore complaints.  They don't care if what they do is right, or even legal.

BTW, if there's an attorney in the local beekeepers association, they may even be willing to work for free.

I will assume you are assuming this. If its on the books, you and a lawyer are going to fight city hall? Hiring a lawyer so that she can keep bees at her house would be the last thing I would do.

She needs to check the ordinance and find out what the town has decided in re to beekeeping and proceed from there.


...JP
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« Reply #42 on: September 22, 2008, 11:05:05 AM »


   You under no legal obligation to move your bees, this is not the same as the police telling you to move from a corner. The bees are located on private property and are your property. They must issue a order or summons of some sort first. It must be in writing, otherwise you or they have no proof that you were even told anything. I would sit back and wait untils some sort of written warning is given. Your lawyer will tell you the same thing, you have nothing to fight right now, no ordinance or law. The police told you to move them they need to issue you some sort of WRITTEN advisement. I ran this by my lawyer and he agreed with it, its the equivalent of them telling you to get rid of your dog, they just can't do it, with out proper legal justification.
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« Reply #43 on: September 22, 2008, 03:23:58 PM »

I am a lawyer and a beekeeper in North Carolina.  If you do have an attorney who is a member of your beekeeping organization you may want to see if he/she has already researched the issue and might give you a free or reduced cost consultation.  I live in Greensboro, NC and our City Council passed a revised beekeeping ordinance that relaxed setback requirements in the city.  I became involved, not as attorney for the beekeeper who was cited, but as a "representative" of the Guilford Beekeepers (meaning I worked for free).  Once the beekeeper had been cited and said he was going to pursue the issue, I became involved.  Since any change in the city ordinance would affect me and several friends and club members, I wanted to try and see that any changes to the ordinance did not make things worse.

Because our ordinance was in our zoning codes, the beekeeper filed and appeared before the Board of Adjustment asking to be allowed to keep his bees. The Board could not grant his request because his lot couldnot meet the ordinance requirements under any circumstances.  He and I met with city planners and 2 versions of a revised ordinance were presented to Planning Board.  The Planning Board voted not to recommend either (largely because of issues involving poultry in the same ordinance).  The Planning Department forwarded one version to City Council for a public meeting and vote, and Council accepted some changes I asked for and passed a less restrictive ordinance.

Your process may be very different so you should find out what you are dealing with first.  Is there a bee keeping ordinance or just a general nuisance ordinance?  What is the enforcement mechanism?  What appeal processes do you have?

We found the city planners and the city to be generally helpful and receptive to our concerns.  I always kept conversations friendly and always assumed that the people I was dealing with were acting in good faith.  They were.  City Council was bee friendly and somewhat to my surprise, quite chicken friendly.  Don't make enemies if you don't have to.  Do your homework regarding bees and bee behavior.  Have legitimate literature or websites that you can hand out/send officials to so that you can educate your city officials. if need be,  and not have them act out of ignorance or fear.

Before you get too far along, you also need to consider whether your home is in a development that has its own private rules that you must follow.  In North Carolina, private restritive covenants that are properly drawn and recorded are generally enforceable, and can be far more limiting than the city oridnances.  I obviously cannot advise you about the law or private contracts in your State, but I did want to share our experience and some general ideas about how to deal the situation.

Sorry for the long post, and I hope this helps you get started on a happy resolution to your problem.

 
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« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2008, 08:19:46 AM »

We had the same problem with our neighbors.  Unfortunately our neighbors who were concerned are also our landlords!!!!   shocked

She complained, p'ed and moaned, and just generally threw a hissy fit insisting that the bees had to go.  They have a niece who is allergic to bees.  I highly doubt she's allergic to honeybees, but, whatever.  She told Mark that as long as those bees were in our yard, her niece risked death every time she stepped outside.  We moved the bees across the street.  Less than a 100 yards.  We haven't heard any complaints since.  The thing that's funny to me, is that we might as well have moved them into her backyard, as the bees are just as close, relatively speaking.

Becky
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« Reply #45 on: September 23, 2008, 10:42:44 AM »

Jacobs and JP give good advice. You need to find out what rules your town uses. Most code violations require some written notice to "cease and desist" the activity with a statutory referenece which is usually available down at city hall. It will outline exactly your rights and the way in which you proceed. Frankly, an attorney is not needed initially. It might down the road, but most intelligent persons can manage many issues of this type themselves. Ask for an explanation, not from the police who are 'just following' orders, but from a zoning officer, code officer or equivalent. If you fall under a general nuisance, not otherwise excluded, you have a decision to make about how hard you want to fight. Most town do not expressly exclude bees, but proceed under genral nuidance concepts. this si where education of the town leaders can be very effective.
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« Reply #46 on: September 23, 2008, 11:37:03 AM »

I am reminded of the old adage... the person who represents himself or herself, has a fool for a client.
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« Reply #47 on: September 23, 2008, 02:06:56 PM »

We had the same problem with our neighbors.  Unfortunately our neighbors who were concerned are also our landlords!!!!   shocked

She complained, p'ed and moaned, and just generally threw a hissy fit insisting that the bees had to go.  They have a niece who is allergic to bees.  I highly doubt she's allergic to honeybees, but, whatever.  She told Mark that as long as those bees were in our yard, her niece risked death every time she stepped outside.  We moved the bees across the street.  Less than a 100 yards.  We haven't heard any complaints since.  The thing that's funny to me, is that we might as well have moved them into her backyard, as the bees are just as close, relatively speaking.

Becky

You know, you never hear people at picnics or other outside activities saying they or someone else is allergic and that the picnic is a bad idea or the football game is a bad idea 'cause so and so might get stung because they are allergic, ya'll ever hear this?

Makes we wonder when people tell me they are allergic, if there's some kind of allergic club I'm unaware of?

I believe people think they may be allergic but that most who say they are, are probably not.


...JP
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« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2008, 11:10:16 PM »

As a retired cop I have a few additional suggestions/comments:
1.  In lieu of a specific ordinance the police will lump bee complaints under public/attractive nuisance ordinance to cite in response to the complaint.  They will take this action as it is the part municipal code that they can enforce, they do not have jurisdiction to enforce zoning codes, that takes a code enforcement officer.  If there is a ordinance about beekeeping it takes president over the public nuisance ordinance as the wrong ordinance was used in the matter.  It is critical in law that the correct application be cited or the case is a non-sequitor, i.e. improperly applied and, as such, unenforceable.

2. Check your zoning codes, city ordinances, and housing association bylaws before jumping off the cliff.  If the police cite you under the public nuisance ordinance go to court and as for a continuance on the grounds you need time to prepare your case (research of ordinances etc.)  If the police get hard nosed (they shouldn't as you're exercising your lawful rights) tell them they can at their own peril if they insist prior to adjudication/resolution.  Unless there is a police officer who's also a beekeeper, chances are they'll await adjudication.
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