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: http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-move-a-hive/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxZ4uEgRRZg
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.