Any BeeKeepers out there?

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Any BeeKeepers out there?

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  • Neighbour has 20 bees round guttering he wont do anything about it

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    04-22-2014, 01:17 PM
Exclamation Any BeeKeepers out there?

On Sunday evening we had an angry bee swarming fiasco from our neighbors hive. We have just moved in to a horse property we will be renting for the next 8 months. It is bee weather here most of the year. We found out that our landlord was adamant with the neighbors that they would not be putting a bee hive right next to the horses and our house. They waited for him to leave and before us renters moved in they got their bees. Very underhanded. They put it in the farthest corner of their property next to the gate. It's far away from all of their stuff (house, animals, etc.). But it is a couple feet off the fence line, right next to my horse stalls, turnout, and house. I was annoyed about it but didn't say anything because the bees hadn't caused a problem.

Sunday about 6pm I was out giving a lunge lesson to my mother. They were over there with their gas stuff messing with the bees, I guess removing the baby queens the bees were making. Obviously, the bees were really angry. Things were OK until about 20 minutes into it when a bee landed on my hair and started burrowing into it. I already had gloves on and was trying to stay as calm as possible and remove the bee from my hair. It stung my glove, and I think I accidentally killed it, so another bee came. At this point, the horse had started galloping (with my mother on her back) because of my antics. I managed to get the horse stopped and told my mother to go untack. Meanwhile, more bees are going for my hair. I try to walk calmly to the house but start getting more bees so I just ran like h*ll and lost them on the way. Then, my mother gets swarmed and stung twice in the face while untacking, and the horse gets spooked. My mother leaves the property in tears, very angry (she's living at the house we are selling while I am out with horses right now). I manage to catch the horse and put her in the turnout. But she just starts galloping nonstop with the bees swarming. The neighbor's wife came over and walked her out for us, so I appreciated that it helped a lot.

The problem is that they are refusing to move the hive. They are saying if they move the hive they will lose the bees, and it can only be five feet or 1 mile according to their bee mentor. I think this is a bogus myth (there are myths about everything and anything in keeping animals) and found a source to prove me right. Here are the links:

Meanwhile the landlord is so upset he wants me to set up bee traps and is ready to pull their internet service (he provides it free for them just being a good neighbor since he gets free service) if they refuse to do anything about it. I said that I think the bee traps will only make the problem worse and make them more uncooperative. It's up to him on internet service.

Me and the neighbors have come to a sort of agreement. I believe this is only a temporary fix (I just don't see this plan working long term) but they probably think that they have solved everything. They never work with the bees in the morning, not on the days we are riding, and will give us a heads up when working with bees. They are refusing to move hives at all, although I only just found those links this morning and asked the landlord to forward them to her so we will see what they say. Here is the text conversation I had with her yesterday.

Neighbor: "Craig will be removing some of the bees at 6:00. We called our bee mentor and they said we could only move them 5 feet or 1 mile. As you know our property is not a mile long and we do not want to loose our $600 dollar investment. This was an isolated incident and I have notified animal control and checked zoning and we are well within our rights on OUR property, so if you want to work together as a team we would be willing to do that. Also the last time you rode, we had 0 problems. Right now every tree is loaded with bees from everywhere because it's spring. Thank you for your cooperation."

Me: "Did not mean to cause for bad feelings between us. Yes it is your property but it is a matter of consideration. I did not like having the bees around an area where I spend a lot of time, but did not say anything because they had not been causing problems. Well, now they have, and who knows if or when it will happen again. As you have said nature and animals are unpredictable. Therefore, the hives must be moved. I just thank the Lord that mother's horse is so forgiving of when I lost control and am grateful a serious accident didn't happen. But that doesn't mean it won't. The hives are now interfering with our lives. My mother got stung twice in the face and her eye is swollen shut so she can't even go to work today. They have interfered with our income. I have friends with kids who come over to ride and I cannot allow them over here until the problem is resolved. Not saying you have to get rid of your investment, I am just saying that the hives need to be moved ASAP. Preferably far from our fence line. If you would be willing to work out a beekeeping schedule and have set times you go out there, that would help very much."

Neighbor: "We will let you know when we are bee keeping and try to give you as much notice as possible."

Me: "How often do you work with bees per week? I thought it was quite a few. The notice will work for short term, I just ask that you please consider setting a schedule for long term. Something that we can all stick to. Of course if you had plans and needed to bee keep different from schedule, then you would just need to let us know. I am really trying here to work things out. We are in a rough spot at this point in our lives and really would like to avoid added stress and cost of trying to find another place to live. I am trying to mediate between both sides (my mother being one) and be fair to both. If you are adamant about not moving hives it seems a schedule is the best way to go."

Neighbor: "We have two small children and our lives are always changing, having our own business and emergency calls, we are not stress free here we all have our added problems. If we know your going to ride no one will mess around with the bees we only look in the hive 2 times a month. Except for this week because he shut down mid keeping and has to finish last hive tonight ***(YES they have more than one hive!)*** and we won't be in there for another 2 weeks and then not on a day your riding ok?

"He is going outside to check his poles not going to finish until after 6, we are good people and just trying to live a nice quiet life out here. Not a fan of drama that's why I jumped in to help, not an alarmist either, just want to get along. What day of the week does your mom like to ride? We can always do that as I said in my very first text."

Me: "She rides on weekends. When you say only twice a month, do you mean several days out of two weeks per month or 2 days per month?"

At this point she called me and we worked everything else out. But it seemed to me like they were getting very defensive over their decision to put the hive there, and acting as if it was our fault the bees attacked us. An extreme lack of sympathy for anyone else' problems, only concerned with their own, as you can see in text.

What do you all think about this? If they would just move the bees to the other side of their property everyone would be happy. I'm just so upset over the situation in general.
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    04-22-2014, 02:29 PM
Wow, what a mess!

I keep bees but in the year I've had them only been stung ONCE! Mine are in the yard and I haven't had a single problem.

I absolutely don't know WHY they set the hive so close to "your" barn? Really really stupid!

Tell them to close them up one evening and relocate them much much further away, like across their property! They will be fine, or die, who cares. If really worried about them they can put an ad out on CL for a summer foster home, people love bee hives around small farms. It's them or a lawsuit if someone gets hurt.
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    04-22-2014, 03:25 PM
They are more worried about their money than their neighbors safety and happiness. There just isn't enough land between us, in my OP. There is about 3-4 acres on each lot. They have goats, chickens, turkeys, horses, dogs, and 2 kids, so they would rather risk their neighbors safety with their bees than theirs.
    04-22-2014, 03:56 PM
Oh my goodness, they just CAN'T put bees next to stalls/barns/corrals. PERIOD END OF STORY. If the bees swarm into your barn while the horses are stalled, they are gonners.

You also want a nice quiet place to enjoy, why should YOU have to worry about angry trespassing bees?
Mine are on the back of my yard fence, next to one of my 1.5 acre rotational paddocks that I can shut the horses out of when I work mine. I don't have neighbors.

The safety rule for beekeeping is PEOPLE then LIVESTOCK then BEES. Ask her if her mentor has ever mentioned that?
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horseluvr2524 likes this.
    04-22-2014, 04:26 PM
No, it's not right. I don't know where they got the idea that it was OK. Especially after the landlord (their neighbor) told them specifically NOT to put bees there. He was adamant about it for 2 years living there. As I've said, I'm surprised they even got bees when they have a 3 year old. Anyway, stall gates are open to turn out for now. I hate feeding them together because my mare is such a bully, but there is nothing to be done about it right now. Nobody is getting stalled until this is resolved.
    04-22-2014, 04:54 PM
Wellll bees are ok if you have kids, and actually watch them... I grew up helping tend my Papa's bees, I think I was 5 the first time I helped and most days we didn't suit up. Most bees are generally docile and we knew better to mess with them.

But you are so right, this is not acceptable and I worry about your horses. God forbid, I hate scaring you and I LOVE my bees, if a predator knocked over the hive or there was a wind storm they'd be in trouble if confined really close by.

How close are they? Like 5 feet? 20? Still doesn't matter, they need to be moved ASAP.
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    04-22-2014, 06:09 PM
The bees are around 12 feet away from closest stall (that I use. Have a 3rd stall I don't use and they are really close to that). The horses turnout I believe is about 100' long-the size of a small arena. If I walk to the far corner of turnout behind stalls, I'm basically right next to bees. So close I could probably get a decent sized branch, poke it through the no climb and knock the hives over (not that I ever would! O.O just giving you a distance estimate).

They kept going on about "the bees have never done that before". They've had the bees for maybe a month. I think this was the first time they removed queens. They have to change out queens every 6 weeks. I don't want to deal with angry bee swarms every six weeks! I guess they have to change them out frequently because it's a desert and if they leave the bees they run the risk of them becoming "africanized".

You make me a little nervous with the thing about storms. They have rottweilers that could knock the boxes over if excited about something at front of property, and we often have strong high winds here in desert. In fact, one of their rottweilers gets stung frequently because of running to gate to bark.
    04-22-2014, 06:20 PM
Yep, they need/must go. I'd be ringing your landlord silly.

I love love love bees, we need MORE bees. But stupid people like these is what gets beekeeping in urban environments/neighborhoods outlawed.
Which in many cases is where they are safest from agricultural pesticides. *shakes head*
Good luck!
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    04-22-2014, 06:47 PM
My landlord has been in on the whole thing and is doing his best to help us. I called the county for the third time and finally got connected to a specialized agent. They are going to see what they can find out and get back to me. I don't get what the big deal is about moving the bees if they do it correctly. I'll keep the thread updated.
    04-22-2014, 07:37 PM
We don't have bees now, but MDH used to work on a bee farm and hopefully this spring we will be getting our first hive. Personally, I have to stay away from the little critters as I am slightly allergic to them -which apparently gets worse with age. :(

Anyway, that all said, I don't see why in blazes their mentor would tell them that you can only move them 5 feet or 1 mile. That's bologna. Sure, they might loose a bit of honey production, but if it is the first year, then they're not going to have a production year this go round anyway.

They should move them. I don't know what the laws are in your area, but here if a neighbour interferes with the use and enjoyment of your property, they can be charged.

bee swarm, difficult neighbors

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