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Author Topic: Question regarding hive location/bees in the city.  (Read 1306 times)
palegemini
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« on: February 15, 2006, 10:35:11 AM »

Hi..I'm new to the board. I live in Baltimore and I will be taking a short course in beekeeping in March. I have a few questions regarding the plausibility of beekeeping on my property.


I live in the city. But it's not what you think...I live on a dirt road in a very wooded area with few neighbors in close proximity, a nice sized yard surrounded by trees and a nice garden in the springtime. I've heard of people keeping a hive on their back porch in downtown Baltimore (we're talking cramped rowhomes here) and they had no problems maintaining their hive. I just want to be sure that keeping a hive or two in my current home isn't irresponsible or won't result in swarming or anything like that. I still have alot to learn before I decide on whether or not to fully delve into the world of beekeeping, but I figured this place would be the best place to bone up on some extra info on the subject...


Also, I've heard from people in the area that there's been a real problem with Varroa mites...I've read that certain breeds can be more resistant to mites....like Russian Honeybees.. can anyone recommend breeds that are pretty accessible, reasonably priced, and have a pretty good resistance to mites and other disease?


Thank you!
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-Megan
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2006, 12:55:25 PM »

Okay renegade bee keeper here.
I live in an area zoned residental. That is what you are first going to need to  find out if the area you are zoned in will allow bees. Some residential zones allow for them others do not. Please find out from your local code enforcement officers.  Or you can be like me, I know that bees are not allowed in my area. I still have them. I am working on trying to get register with the State Dept. of Agriculture, which is very different from the local code enforcement. As of this time however I register with neither.  That means the Dept. of Ag find my hives they will destroy them period. That is bad. Code enforcement will fine me and report me to the Dept of Ag. but if I am registered with the Dept of Ag. , they won't get destroyed.

Right now my bees are all wearing dark makeup and little masks over their faces so as to not be identified and running clandestine ops.

Since dealing with bueracracy takes time, the bees and I are keeping a semi low profile.

Now for the other aspects. If you have enough pollen and nectar plants within two miles keeping your bees should not be a problem. My area has an abundance of that including massive amounts of honeysuckle. Everybody here has at least a .33 acres or more of property and everyone grows plants , herbs, or veggies. Most unknowlingly are happy my bees are helpingwith their plants. keeping bees in an urban area is possible, there just needs to be  enough plants.

Take a look at your neighborhood. Do the neighbors all have plants in some small section of the front or back yard. has the city initiated some beautification program and landscaped the medians and areas. Is there a wildflower program in the area around the major highways. Perhaps a community garden or two. If the answer to these questions is mostly yes. you probably have an area suitable for bees.

Is there a local bee keeper group in your area, maybe others are familar with this on a local level and can tell you straight out what is good and bad about your location.

If you area is not desirable maybe your relatives place not to far away is a better choice and you would be given an excuse to visit frequently.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2006, 01:03:13 PM »

Quote from: palegemini
I just want to be sure that keeping a hive or two in my current home isn't irresponsible or won't result in swarming or anything like that. I still have alot to learn before I decide on whether or not to fully delve into the world of beekeeping, but I figured this place would be the best place to bone up on some extra info on the subject...


Also, I've heard from people in the area that there's been a real problem with Varroa mites...I've read that certain breeds can be more resistant to mites....like Russian Honeybees.. can anyone recommend breeds that are pretty accessible, reasonably priced, and have a pretty good resistance to mites and other disease?


Thank you!


Swarming is ulimitley an issue of space. Bees with room to grow are not likely to swarm. Maintain your bees properly by adding frames and boxeswhen you are suppose to. Split hives when it is time to do so.

Mites, small hive beetles,and wax moths are nasty nasty nasty. The best way to start a flamewar is to recommend one way over another on how to deal with pests. Everyone has a solution that is right for them. Ultimatley a strong healthy hive will always be your best defense against pests( note how I made the politcally correct answer on that).For beginners I still think italians are best.  

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2006, 02:38:32 PM »

You might be interested in this,

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palegemini
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2006, 03:05:27 PM »

I don't think pollen sources will be a problem...Many of my neighbors garden, and there is a park about a mile away that has a public garden and teh school there has an agriculture program in which they cultivate a rather large vegetable garden every year.  My yard is completely closed off and there is a very nice little plateau above my garden that is inaccessible  from any side without considerable effort.

I will look into zoning for sure and registering with Dept of Ag. if it is required.


As far as mites etc are concerned, I am not looking to start a flame war....if anyone could at least point me to several links or whatever that I might read and when the time is right, make an informed decision of my own, that would be helpful!


Thanks!! Smiley
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-Megan
Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2006, 09:39:41 PM »

I had bees in various towns for 25 years or so.  I always try to keep the hive kind of out of sight.  The neighbors will figure it  out, but the important thing is that they've been there for a long time by the time they do.  Smiley

Swarms happen.  There are feral bees and they swarm too.  Bees are a natural part of the world.

It's not iresponsible to have bees.  But you can be iresponsible with them. Like putting them where people have to walk clost to the front of the hive as they walk by your house.

There are many mite control methods.  I would find one that is consistent with your philosophy of life and then, whichever one you pick, learn to monitor the mites so you will know if it's working or not.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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