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Author Topic: Keep bees near sewage treatment plant?  (Read 2983 times)
Bee Curious
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« on: August 18, 2013, 03:53:24 PM »

My city is trying to ban backyard beekeeping and is suggesting a community bee yard.  The only trouble is they will not put it on any land in the city, because all the property is too near schools and parks (I know, I'm rolling my eyes too.)  That only leaves the local sewage treatment plant  lau

My question is: Would there be any disadvantage to housing bees in an area that reeks a good deal of the time?  Would it affect the bees?  Would it affect the honey?  

Thanks for any insight.  

« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 06:22:04 PM by Bee Curious » Logged
alfred
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 06:35:28 PM »

I don't see anything in the Skokie, IL City Code that says that you can't keep bees in the City. On what basis is the "city" banning Beekeeping? Who in the city is truing to ban it? I say keep your bees as you like and make them show you the law that says that you can't.

Alfred
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millipede
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 06:45:28 PM »

Unfortunately strong smells tend to drive bees off. You may end up with a lot of hives absconding.
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Bee Curious
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 07:07:31 PM »

I don't see anything in the Skokie, IL City Code that says that you can't keep bees in the City. On what basis is the "city" banning Beekeeping? Who in the city is truing to ban it? I say keep your bees as you like and make them show you the law that says that you can't.

Alfred

Tomorrow the Board of Trustees is voting on a revised ordinance saying:

Under Prohibited Species (in the Animal Ordinances):
"No person shall keep, harbor or maintain any species which may endanger the safety of persons or property.  This includes species, other than commonly recognized domestic pets, which may harm or injure humans by injection of toxins, by stinging, by constriction or suffocation,  or by vicious biting or mauling, it is no defense to of this subsection that the keeper of such species prohibited herin has attempted to domesticate such species.  This subsection does not apply to species displayed or harbored under the auspices of a government agency. "

Pretty unbelievable, in this day and age, isn't it?

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Bee Curious
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 07:09:15 PM »

Unfortunately strong smells tend to drive bees off. You may end up with a lot of hives absconding.

That's what I was thinking might be the case.  I'd love to have a few more people confirm this, so I can use it when we speak before the Board of Trustees tomorrow.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 07:34:46 PM »

I honestly do not think the smell from a typical city sewage plant would cause bees to abscond.

And they already have a name for the honey --- "Honey Dew"  grin
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 08:54:45 PM »

This is just sad and ignorant of them.  While beekeepers are collecting swarms and selecting for gentleness, I would think that they make the community safer from stinging bees.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 09:01:00 PM »

This is just sad and ignorant of them.  While beekeepers are collecting swarms and selecting for gentleness, I would think that they make the community safer from stinging bees.

Folks are scared of stinging inscets... of course not in Il. but add the threat of AHB where it is present and......................
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millipede
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2013, 10:28:54 PM »

It has been noted in several studies that keeping bees rarely affects the total amount of bees active in a given area. Simply put, there are too may feral colonies out there as well as bees flying in from up to five miles away to get at the nectar and pollen.
While the number of bees in the immediate area might be greater, it dilutes very quickly outside of the bee hive. Providing a fence or hedge for them to fly over keeps them above head level until they actually start collecting or scouting.
I just don't understand it. It has been proven over and over again that having bees in an area improves the local gardens and rarely causes an increase in insect stings.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 11:06:27 PM »

Gather your info and speak against the proposed ordinance.
1. The USDA classified honey bees as plants due to the close symbiotic relationship between them and as such are not subject to animal ordinances.
2. Fruit and vegetable crops from individual orchards and gardens of city residents will decrease if bees are removed from the city limits.
3. Fears of bee sting come from fear of wasps and hornets which have not been domesticated and most people confuse with honey bees.
4. Passing such an ordinance without investigating the issue demonstrates the ignorance and prejudice of the city officials (No politician likes to be called ignorant or prejudice).
5. You will openly and aggressively campaign against any councilmember to votes for such an ordinance if they take action upon said ordinance without performing the due diligence of researching the ordinances of surrounding communities that beekeeping within city limits.
6. Propose an alternative ordinance that would restrict bee hives to 2 hives on city lots of less than 100x100 feet graduating upward on lot size to 4 hives for a lot 150x150 feet, 4 hives for a lot of 200x200 feet, 6 hives per acre lot, and 10 hives for lots larger than one acre.  That is a fairly standard language in ordinances restricting beekeeping.  Also found is language restricting placement of hives or mitigation so that pedestrians would not be accosted by flying bees.   
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2013, 06:19:01 AM »

It has been noted in several studies that keeping bees rarely affects the total amount of bees active in a given area.
I just don't understand it. It has been proven over and over again that having bees in an area improves the local gardens and rarely causes an increase in insect stings.

Would you mind posting a link to the study saying that keeping bees doesn't affect the local bee population. My neighborhood has noted a dramatic increase in honeybee activity. Most if not all of the feral bee colonies around here have been wiped out by Varroa and SHB.
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millipede
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2013, 08:38:24 AM »

I will see if I can find it. Most feral bee colonies usually make it through the first year and swarm at least once. And even if there are not very many I your area, if there is a commercial keeper in your county, he will lose swarms as well.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2013, 10:16:50 AM »

"No person shall keep, harbor or maintain any species which may endanger the safety of persons or property. "... that would include dogs and cats both of which can bite people...

Bees have been kept as domestic animals for millennia as have dogs and cats...
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MsCarol
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2013, 10:24:33 AM »

"No person shall keep, harbor or maintain any species which may endanger the safety of persons or property. "... that would include dogs and cats both of which can bite people...

Bees have been kept as domestic animals for millennia as have dogs and cats...


Teenagers?Huhgrin
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Bee Curious
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2013, 11:14:18 AM »

Gather your info and speak against the proposed ordinance.
1. The USDA classified honey bees as plants due to the close symbiotic relationship between them and as such are not subject to animal ordinances.
 

All great points, Brian.  Could you give me somewhere to find info on this first point? 

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millipede
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2013, 11:48:28 AM »

I can't seem to fins the article for my above statement though I did recall something about it. I am pretty sure it said the number of stinging insects not bees. Sorry for the misinformation. I will keep searching though.
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Bee Curious
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2013, 01:24:51 PM »

Back to the subject of bad smells and beehives--does anyone have any experience with this?
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danno
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2013, 03:45:02 PM »

I keep at least a doz colonies next to my hog barn.  Cant imagine a municipal sewage plant would smell worse.  The bee's actually love the muddy water in the wallow.
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Bee Curious
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2013, 05:20:22 PM »

I keep at least a doz colonies next to my hog barn.  Cant imagine a municipal sewage plant would smell worse.  The bee's actually love the muddy water in the wallow.

Now that's exactly what I wanted to know.

No problem with the honey?
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MsCarol
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2013, 05:25:41 PM »

I am curious about the odor/honey connection as well.

Observation is the bees do like manure piles as well as the damp areas around salt blocks/licks. Has made me wonder if they too need more extra minerals/salts then we think they do. Maybe don't get enough in pollen/nectar alone.
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sterling
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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2013, 05:27:09 PM »

I do not know if smells would effect the bees but I would think the chemicals in the sewer could make the honey taste bad. evil
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capt44
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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2013, 01:51:40 AM »

Making the honey taste bad would be determined by what the city council eat.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2013, 02:34:04 AM »

maybe someone should start a bee keepers activism group, to where when such ordinances are mentioned and as a group people try to send in letters and be active against it. even if it isn't in their community, when such ordinances are passed in some, others often then follow suit.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2013, 04:13:47 AM »

Making the honey taste bad would be determined by what the city council eat.

 lau
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RHBee
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« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2013, 06:16:55 AM »

maybe someone should start a bee keepers activism group, to where when such ordinances are mentioned and as a group people try to send in letters and be active against it. even if it isn't in their community, when such ordinances are passed in some, others often then follow suit.


I don't think that's a bad idea. In this crazy world we live in it seems that the people who are outspoken get attention. With the well known plight of the honeybee and it's importance as a pollinator you would think that municipalities would encourage and welcome beekeepers.
Everything should be done in moderation. I don't think someone should be able to keep 20 colonies on a small subdivision lot but 3 or 4 wouldn't hurt anything.
The honeybee doesn't fall in the domesticated animal group. You can't train them to do your bidding. They are just bugs. Wonderful very beneficial bugs but still just bugs. I can understand ordinances against domestic livestock like chickens and such. Barnyards can have some pretty special smells and noises.
I guess you could point to the importance of pollinators in our food chain and draw comparisons to recycling, reducing carbon emissions or saving the whales. You really aren't keeping bees your facilitating bees to survive in an environment that seems bent on their destruction.
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danno
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« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2013, 08:06:40 AM »

I think Brians point #4 & 5 would give you the biggest hammer.   There is a bunch of usefull info at Wikipedia.   Here is the link  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_beekeeping
Also the honey next to my hog barn tastes exactly the same and the 3 other yards that I have spread out over the 10 mile area that I live in
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RHBee
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« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2013, 08:12:29 AM »

Thanks for the link danno. Good read.
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Ray
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« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2013, 10:08:34 AM »

I live outside my town limits, but RIGHT on the border with 43 acres of my own, 300 acres family owned. I had the mayor come talk to me about my bees. he wanted me to move them, I told him no. He said he could contact the county if he had to.. I said My hives are registered with the state. If pushed, I could contact four different beekeeping associations nearby and bring the case to the state, and that I was willing to fund the fight.
   He calmed down, and we talked for about two hours.. part of that time while wandering around the hives....   I know its a bit unfair.. but I caught a drone and handed it to him. Explained that bees are not aggressive away from their hive.
   He went away with a new perspective.
   There are a lot of weapons and ammunition you can use to dispel the fears of the council, but as you already said, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, so speak up. get your ducks in a row, and make an appearance. Call in help from other local beeks. Many in the local clubs here would dearly LOVE to fight for their hobby/business.

   We live in SE Iowa.. A few years ago, the newly elected council decided that having Big trucks, and  tractors with wagons full of grain sitting along the highway waiting to pull into the elevator was a bad thing, so they tried to make them use the side streets..   The farmers wives/families inundated the town with a petition that proposed the city council had to wear a clown outfit when performing official duties..   with a population of 480, they got almost a thousand signatures.  It brought an important point to the forefront of knowledge in the new councils minds.
    You can accomplish a lot if you have the determination. 
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sterling
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« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2013, 03:00:42 PM »

I think Brians point #4 & 5 would give you the biggest hammer.   There is a bunch of usefull info at Wikipedia.   Here is the link  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_beekeeping
Also the honey next to my hog barn tastes exactly the same and the 3 other yards that I have spread out over the 10 mile area that I live in

Your hog barn is a lot cleaner then a sewage treatment plant. Think of the chemicals involved in treating sewer and all the drugs people take and all the deceases they have that is passed into the sewer. A few years ago in Murfressboro Tn. they were using the sludge from the treatment plant to put on pastures but the rule was it had to set for seven years before cows could pasture it. I would not want my bees using a sewer treatment plant to gather there nectar or pollen. But I would be OK if they were gathering from blooms around a pig pen.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2013, 03:01:04 PM »

Also the honey next to my hog barn tastes exactly the same and the 3 other yards that I have spread out over the 10 mile area that I live in

Come on dude you no fun.  Surely it leaves an after taste  grin
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« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2013, 03:46:26 PM »

Also the honey next to my hog barn tastes exactly the same and the 3 other yards that I have spread out over the 10 mile area that I live in

Come on dude you no fun.  Surely it leaves an after taste  grin

   LOL   Only if the breeze is blowing from the Confinement toward the house when you taste the honey. Smiley
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Bee Curious
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« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2013, 10:24:44 PM »

As this is viewable to all online, I won't go into details, but you can read about what happened re: the ordinance here:
Article


Don't believe everyone quoted here.  You know who I mean.
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Solomon Parker
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« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2013, 10:33:55 PM »

Aha, finally my hobby as a beekeeper and my employment as a wastewater engineer come in to play!

That being said, a waste water plant is not that big of a deal.  Sure, some of them smell bad, but odor control is becoming more common every day.  Bees aren't going to be able to find any less nasty water anywhere else, they'll drink out of any cesspool they can find unless it kills them.  And honey is naturally antibacterial. 
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Solomon Parker
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« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2013, 11:02:25 PM »

Is that beecurious in the last two photos? This part don't sound too promising:

>Counard said that one regulation will likely require that neighbors on both sides agree to the resident maintaining beehives on their property.
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MsCarol
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« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2013, 09:41:47 AM »

This part don't sound too promising:

>Counard said that one regulation will likely require that neighbors on both sides agree to the resident maintaining beehives on their property.


But is beats an all out ban. Sadly those neighbors with the allergic child will most likely never listen to reason, including the fact that the boy carry and learn to use the epi-pen on himself as soon as he is able. There are far more other stinging insects out there in the real world then the honey bees. My guess is one or both parents are afraid themselves.
I doubt it sank in that the hive is also getting larger as the summer progresses is partially because the bees are storing honey.

It does sound like it was a well laid out argument in FAVOR of bee keeping. I applaud the effort to educate all those present. Although the idea of a community bee yard isn't a bad one, I can also see it a recipe for vandals to do a whole lot of damage to a number of beeks in a short span of time. Would the city support the cost of insuring those hives against such a possibility?
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OldMech
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« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2013, 10:00:24 AM »

No lawyer by any stretch.. but I do wonder about the ability to MAKE you remove existing. I can understand disallowing NEW hives, but existing should be grandfathered???
   I know that we had farmers with animals within the city limits, as some pastures extended into town. we had some City folks move into an adjacent lot, and they cited the Iowa code that states no livestock could be kept within a cities limits. They were blown out of the water, because those pastures have had cattle/sheep in them since before that code was put into effect, so the city/state, could NOT make them remove them...   I have no clue if it would carry to bees, as they are not... technically??? Livestock?
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sterling
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« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2013, 12:01:26 PM »


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MsCarol
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« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2013, 12:10:59 PM »





I SOOOO WANT that sign!!!!

Several years back we did have complaints by drive-bys over the livestock having sex in the open - both cattle and horses. We ended up having to move the stock away from the highway to give the beleaguered sheriff a break.
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danno
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« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2013, 03:11:42 PM »

We have a different growing problem here in Michigan.  Home owners insurance companies are canceling policies with hives on the properties.   
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Santa Caras
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« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2013, 03:41:17 PM »

"we did have complaints by drive-bys over the livestock having sex in the open - both cattle and horses"

Seriously?Huh really??? people today are just too urbanized. When we run out of oil and everyone goes back to the horse-n-buggy again it will be a real shocker for em, ya think?
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RHBee
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« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2013, 03:55:42 PM »

We have a different growing problem here in Michigan.  Home owners insurance companies are canceling policies with hives on the properties.   

This just confirmed my belief that people really have lost all reason. Sometimes I feel like I'm living in a really bad novel. I guess I'm just getting old or my beliefs are way to Conservative.
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danno
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« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2013, 06:36:25 PM »

The bee sting allergy thing always get me.  If I asked 100 people if they are allergic, 60 to 70 would say yes. 
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« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2013, 06:43:19 PM »

Quote from: RHBee link=topic=42396.msg363182#msg363182 date=1376993815
[quote author=Better.to.Bee.than.not link=topic=42396.msg363175#msg363175 date=1376980444


I I can understand ordinances against domestic livestock like chickens and such. Barnyards can have some pretty special smells and noises.

[/quote]
My chickens make far less noise than the majority if dogs in our area.  Plus they don't go around crapping and peeing on everyone's mailboxes.

By the way, webster's definition of livestock includes any animal keep for profit or pleasure. That oils include dogs or cats.
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RHBee
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« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2013, 07:25:05 AM »

Quote from: RHBee link=topic=42396.msg363182#msg363182 date=1376993815
[quote author=Better.to.Bee.than.not link=topic=42396.msg363175#msg363175 date=1376980444


I I can understand ordinances against domestic livestock like chickens and such. Barnyards can have some pretty special smells and noises.

My chickens make far less noise than the majority if dogs in our area.  Plus they don't go around crapping and peeing on everyone's mailboxes.

By the way, webster's definition of livestock includes any animal keep for profit or pleasure. That oils include dogs or cats.
[/quote]

Look, I said I understand not agree with.
If anything, I advocate less regulations and more reason. I didn't mean to ruffle any feathers grin. I've had chickens before and realize that a well maintained coop without a rooster doesn't smell and isn't loud. On the other hand, one poorly socialized and trained Labrador retriever or German Sheppard can make enough noise to drive a neighborhood insane.
It takes reason, responsibility and the ability to understand basic concepts to make any society work. Some how these traits have been lost. Because of this we are living in a world where the honeybee is regulated by a council of ignorance to a piece of property next to a sewage plant. I could go on but I really get tired of stating the obvious.
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Ray
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« Reply #44 on: August 22, 2013, 07:32:56 AM »

The bee sting allergy thing always get me.  If I asked 100 people if they are allergic, 60 to 70 would say yes. 

That's exactly the type of ignorance I'm talking about danno. Almost everyone has some reaction to a sting but that doesn't mean they are allergic.
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« Reply #45 on: August 22, 2013, 07:52:58 AM »

The bee sting allergy thing always get me.  If I asked 100 people if they are allergic, 60 to 70 would say yes. 

That's exactly the type of ignorance I'm talking about danno. Almost everyone has some reaction to a sting but that doesn't mean they are allergic.
and it would also be a safe bet that 99 of those 100 have NEVER been stung by a honeybee
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« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2013, 08:37:07 AM »

The bee sting allergy thing always get me.  If I asked 100 people if they are allergic, 60 to 70 would say yes. 

That's exactly the type of ignorance I'm talking about danno. Almost everyone has some reaction to a sting but that doesn't mean they are allergic.
and it would also be a safe bet that 99 of those 100 have NEVER been stung by a honeybee

Ignorance again, thanks danno.
Quite a few people don't know the difference between a yellow jacket and a honeybee. As a kid the only time I ever got stung by a honeybee was when I was barefoot and stepped on one.
Yellow jackets and wasps were a different matter. I quickly learned the difference. Knowledge abolished ignorance,  the hard way. grin
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Location: Arnold Missouri


« Reply #47 on: August 22, 2013, 02:01:43 PM »

i had a neighbor who lives around the corner & is probably 3000' feet from my hives come to my door & tell me my bees came out of the ground & ambushed him & his daughter. i explained to him that he had a yellow jacket nest in his yard & needed to deal with it. i also told him that all of my bees wore collars & could be identified as being mine. he said he'd watch out for collared bees & left. i've not heard from him since. my local township keeps tracks of beeyards that they know of & refrains from spraying for mosquitos near those houses. the city health dept guy came by & asked what else they could do to help the bees. i told him to plant clover in all the parks & on all public ground.
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Bee Curious
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Location: Northern IL


« Reply #48 on: August 22, 2013, 10:38:28 PM »

This part don't sound too promising:



But is beats an all out ban. Sadly those neighbors with the allergic child will most likely never listen to reason, including the fact that the boy carry and learn to use the epi-pen on himself as soon as he is able. There are far more other stinging insects out there in the real world then the honey bees. My guess is one or both parents are afraid themselves.
I doubt it sank in that the hive is also getting larger as the summer progresses is partially because the bees are storing honey.

It does sound like it was a well laid out argument in FAVOR of bee keeping. I applaud the effort to educate all those present. Although the idea of a community bee yard isn't a bad one, I can also see it a recipe for vandals to do a whole lot of damage to a number of beeks in a short span of time. Would the city support the cost of insuring those hives against such a possibility?

We did an amazing job, but there is more to do, trying to get the right people in the administration (and not the wrong people who seem to have predetermined ideas) to work on the ordinance with input from beekeepers on best-practices regulations.  Stay tuned.
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