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Author Topic: New York Times' Ethicist on beekeeping vs allergic neighbors  (Read 4807 times)
edward
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« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2013, 10:04:33 AM »

My kids are allergic to being run over by red cars, should I bee able to forbid people from driving red cars on my street?

mvh edward  tongue
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Joe D
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« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2013, 10:25:30 AM »

If I lived it town and the situation came up like this, I would move the bees.  But I think they should have checked out the neighborhood before buying there.  I feel for you Robo.  MY closest neighbor is 1/4 mile, back a few years ago it was a mile.  At least they can't get any closer. And all my neighbors all have from 40 to a few hundred acres and no one bothers any of the others with BS.  Good luck to you all.




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deknow
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« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2013, 02:09:52 PM »

...given that about 350 children die every year drowning in backyard swimming pools, you should be able to have your neighbor move their inground pool if you have kids.

Trampolines are more of a concern than bees for a homeowners insurance company....you would think they would have a good grasp on probability of  injury.

deknow
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AllenF
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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2013, 04:18:30 PM »

A third of all homeowners insurance claims involve dogs.  Wouldn't the world be better without dogs?   Maybe a law to outlaw puppies should be added to the gun laws. 
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rjmeyer
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« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2013, 05:54:28 PM »

Many people have a genunine fear of dogs, all dogs can bite and /or be aggressive for a whole host of reasons.Many larger dogs could crush a childs head with one bite...So if you owned 3 Very Large Rottweilers and a family moved in next door with young childern that feared being bitten would you relocate them..especially if you knew they were gentle by nature just because they fear being bitten one day?? Of course common sense is paramount here..be courtious, educate them to bees and practice good neighbor policies in beekeeping, but unless it was against the law to keep them...sorry i wouldnt move mine. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2013, 04:08:49 PM »

>the argument assumes that having bees next door increases the probability of being stung by an insect.

I think that is the fundamental flaw in the thinking.

>i'd probably want to see some verification of the allergy.  if i had a buck for every phone caller that said "i have bees in my yard, and i'm allergic!!"  i'd be wealthy.

Me too.  Everyone thinks they are allergic...
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deknow
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« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2013, 04:15:01 PM »

I'm not sure it is believable to claim that living next door to a bee hive doesn't increase your chances of getting stung.  All other things being equal (the hive not being there), I think it does increase your chances of getting stung, of having a colony move into your home, or having a swimming pool (even a kiddie pool) become the water source.

deknow
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derekm
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« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2013, 07:08:16 AM »

I'm not sure it is believable to claim that living next door to a bee hive doesn't increase your chances of getting stung.  All other things being equal (the hive not being there), I think it does increase your chances of getting stung, of having a colony move into your home, or having a swimming pool (even a kiddie pool) become the water source.

deknow
you need to consider the density of stinging insect in the area  below 2m off the ground.
once the bees have gained height to clear nearby obstacles they need to have a reason to forage for nectar, pollen or water, to fly below that. Bee forage over a large range. All of the bee colonies in 3 mile radius may visit a garden.
 I have 4 colonies of honeybees in my garden. Most of the bees visiting the garden are bumble bees, not honeybees. If I want a reliable encounter with my bees more that 6m from the hives I go on to the roof  of my house.
The neighbours hot tub or heated swimming pool  problem is easily solved by having one yourself nearer to colonies (bees like warm water)
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
Michael Bush
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« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2013, 11:10:24 AM »

>I'm not sure it is believable to claim that living next door to a bee hive doesn't increase your chances of getting stung.

I got stung fairly regularly when I was growing up.  There were no hives in my yard nor next door.  Running around barefoot had it's risks.  Bees are pretty evenly distributed over the entire planet.
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Michael Bush
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Robo
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« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2013, 11:28:17 AM »

The other thing that is being overlooked is that not all "bees" (bees/wasp/hornets) are created equally.   It is my understanding that a majority of anaphylactic reactions are results of "non-honeybee" stings.

Of course, regardless of the "bee" it would be assumed it is yours.    I had a swarm trap in a friend of mine's yard this past year.  It caught a swarm around June and I swapped the trap out within 2 weeks.  He actually had a neighbor come harass him in September about his "bees" eating and damaging her berries.   She was not convinced, even after he explained the difference between honeybees and yellow jackets and showed her the trap was empty.

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deknow
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« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2013, 01:25:28 PM »

>I'm not sure it is believable to claim that living next door to a bee hive doesn't increase your chances of getting stung.

I got stung fairly regularly when I was growing up.  There were no hives in my yard nor next door.  Running around barefoot had it's risks.  Bees are pretty evenly distributed over the entire planet.
Cmon Michael....I know you know a logical fallacy when you see it (or state it).

The "hive next door" is inspected at some point...bees flying.
The "hive next door" is more likely to swarm than a possible feral hive the same distance from the neighbors house.
The "hive next door" might well be flying around my porch light at night.
The "hive next door" might have honey removed after the flow...again, bees flying, and in a less good mood.
The "hive next door" has 30,000+ individual bees with stingers inside.

deknow
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Moots
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« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2013, 02:39:55 PM »


Cmon Michael....I know you know a logical fallacy when you see it (or state it).

The "hive next door" is inspected at some point...bees flying.
The "hive next door" is more likely to swarm than a possible feral hive the same distance from the neighbors house.
The "hive next door" might well be flying around my porch light at night.
The "hive next door" might have honey removed after the flow...again, bees flying, and in a less good mood.
The "hive next door" has 30,000+ individual bees with stingers inside.

deknow

deknow,
All valid points....but as I often say, life is full of calculated risk!

I think the point some have made questioning the severity of the allergy is valid, I mean, isn't everyone allergic to bees to a certain degree, hence the swelling and itching.  Is it TRULY a life and death issue for this child or do we have overbearing parents making a mountain out of a molehill?

Another point, which I'm not sure if it's been made or not...But where is the due diligence and responsibility of the family buying the house to educate themselves concerning the surroundings of their potential new neighborhood before purchasing the house?  I'd possibly have more sympathy for their situation if they were living there already and a neighbor decided to start keeping bees.  

They made what appears to be a poor decision for their family and now want to make it someone else's problem and have them pay the price of inconvenience.  If the allergy is truly that severe, shouldn't this have been on their short list of requirements for home shopping?

Strikes me as a slippery slope when you want to start trying to tell people which "legal" activities they can do on their own property.
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deknow
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« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2013, 03:08:55 PM »

I think the idea that someone buying a home can reasonably discover if there is a bee hive in the neighborhood as part of the purchase process is absurd.  Really?  No beekeepers in residential areas have the hives somewhat hidden?  ...isn't that what is often advised...don't make the hives visible?  How can one reasonably expect to discover something on a neighboring property that could well be hidden on purpose?

Certainly not everyone is accurate when they say tell you they are allergic....this is something that everyone with an allergy faces...people don't believe they are really allergic, or don't believe the allergy is really as dangerous as it is made out to be.  With that said, inquiring about this kind of thing has to be handled tactfully and respectfully.  The person that really is allergic (rightfully) won't take kindly to having their credibility/word questioned.  The person that really is allergic would be right to be angry if you dismiss their claim because of the inaccurate claims of others.  After all, we all take offense when we are told by others that our (legitimate) mountain is only considered to be a molehill by others.

But my main point is, if beekeepers claim that, all other things being equal,  living next door to a hive of bees doesn't increase the chance of getting stung, they will have zero credibility in whatever else they claim.

deknow
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Moots
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« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2013, 05:20:42 PM »

I think the idea that someone buying a home can reasonably discover if there is a bee hive in the neighborhood as part of the purchase process is absurd.  Really?  No beekeepers in residential areas have the hives somewhat hidden?  ...isn't that what is often advised...don't make the hives visible?  How can one reasonably expect to discover something on a neighboring property that could well be hidden on purpose?

Certainly not everyone is accurate when they say tell you they are allergic....this is something that everyone with an allergy faces...people don't believe they are really allergic, or don't believe the allergy is really as dangerous as it is made out to be.  With that said, inquiring about this kind of thing has to be handled tactfully and respectfully.  The person that really is allergic (rightfully) won't take kindly to having their credibility/word questioned.  The person that really is allergic would be right to be angry if you dismiss their claim because of the inaccurate claims of others.  After all, we all take offense when we are told by others that our (legitimate) mountain is only considered to be a molehill by others.

But my main point is, if beekeepers claim that, all other things being equal,  living next door to a hive of bees doesn't increase the chance of getting stung, they will have zero credibility in whatever else they claim.

deknow

deknow,
I wasn't suggesting the couple become Peeping Tom's, or hire a Private Investigator to case the neighbors house.  Maybe something as novel as taking 5 minutes to walk next door, knock on the door and introduce yourself, tell them you're thinking about buying the house next door and make some general inquiries.  While this may be a little beyond the "norm", I'm not sure I would categorize it as "absurd"...And if the allergy is truly as serious as we're being lead to believe, it probably isn't a bad idea.  It could of avoided the situation they are now in.

Technically, your point about there being an increased chance of being stung with a hive next door is probably true.  One could argue that "technically", having a hive within 2 or 3 miles, possibly even further "technically" increases the chance of being stung.  So, where do you draw the line?  Like a said earlier, it's a slippery slope.

In my opinion, the question isn't if mathematically there's an increased chance, but more if the increased chance puts the child at some type of  unreasonable risk.  Let's face it ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN, life doesn't come with guarantee's for any of us.

Maybe instead of asking a neighbor to get rid of the bees a little coordination could make the situation manageable for all parties involved.  Ask for a courtesy call when he will be working the bees and make sure your child is inside for that time.  What are we talking about, 30 minutes to an hour every week or two?  Make sure to always have an EpiPen nearby, don't plant things that will encourage the bees to visit your yard, etc. etc. etc.

I just have to believe there's a better answer than, "Hey, I moved in next door, my kid is allergic, you should MOVE YOUR BEES and if you don't you're a bad person!"
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deknow
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« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2013, 05:45:40 PM »

I just have to believe there's a better answer than, "Hey, I moved in next door, my kid is allergic, you should MOVE YOUR BEES and if you don't you're a bad person!"
...I do too.  But I also believe that once you try to tell someone that living next door to a bee hive doesn't have _some_ added risk attached to it, you probably aren't going to appear credible no matter what you say after that.

deknow
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lazy shooter
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« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2013, 09:06:49 PM »

I think that once someone tells you they think your bees pose a threat to them that the die is cast and nothing you can say or do will change their minds.  I believe this is true in almost all cases.  There may be some rare individual out there that you sway their opinion, but mostly when people complain they never back away from their position.

My wife had been a school superintendent for a hundred years, and when the parents complain that the teacher is a bad one she just moves their kiddo along.  People just don't change their minds once they take a stand.  It's sad but true.
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derekm
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« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2013, 06:30:02 AM »

Apart from when you manipulate the bees as a beekeeper ... how many times have you been stung by any stripy(wasps bees etc..) stinging insect in your entire life.? does that number exceed the number of auto accidents/incidents you have been involved in??

I've been stung once when I accidentally destroyed a wasp nest. the number of auto accident in my entire life is "classified" but its a much much bigger number than one.
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
Michael Bush
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« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2013, 08:23:23 AM »

Falling off of a wall when the moon causing a high tide decreases your chances of getting hurt compared to falling off the same wall when the moon is causing a low tide.  But not enough to matter...
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« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2013, 08:47:42 AM »

1.  We no nothing about the beekeepers experience, skill level, or general ability to get along with others.

2.  In Boston, we've had people come in from neighboring states, setup warre hives in the city as a business...the cheap price being due to the fact that they won't have to come into town and check the bees often...after all, they are in a warre hive.  When this issue (and my comments about swarming) made it back to the warre list, almost universally, the members there objected to any objection to bees swarming in the city.  In short, not all beekeepers are knowledgeable, not all are smart, not all are responsible.

3.  If a beekeeper is quoted in the paper, or makes a statement to a judge or mediator along the lines of, "yes, I have bees on my property, but that doesn't impact the neighbors chances of getting stung", they will lose all credibility.

4.  Last spring we got some packages that were "lousy with virgins"...whole installed packages swarmed off the first day.  Some of our neighbors have swimming pools (and I know the bees visit them).

5.  Although I'm not aware of any of our neighbors getting stung, we have had people stung during inspections who were further from the hive being opened than the property line.

6.  I think everyone should use whatever protection they feel comfortable with...but I've been in lots of beeyards with Michael Bush, and if he's in a bee yard where hives are being opened, he is the first to put on a veil.  This isn't a criticism, but an observation that even he knows that once hives are opened the chance of stinging goes way up...we have a big (multifamily) house on a not so big lot...we have hives within a couple of feet of the property lines.

deknow
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D Semple
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« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2013, 09:36:18 AM »

I agree with Dean's & JP's position. I had new neighbors move in with 3 small children and even though they didn't ask me too and we are on acre lots in a semi-rural area, I moved all but a few hives off my place.

Bees have their bad days.


Don
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