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Gscot 

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After delivering a xmas card to a nearby friend and were dicussing my bees.
He came out with a sort of humourious remark "If I get stung with your bees I,ll be suing you" Now this started me thinking "Is this possible?"If someone took a reaction to a sting and died (worse case) "Have you ever heard of such cases?"Beginning to think if he gets as much as a midge bite next year my bees will get the blame.
 

oliver90owner 

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In the worst case scenario - no!

The burden of proof would be on them to be sure it came from your colony. Not really sure that an isolated incident could create a risk, but if they were persistently stung, that may be a different matter.

They are not 'your' bees after they have flown away. If lucky, they may return but your neighbour might have swatted it and even if you knew they swatted bees, you could not easily sue for murder of 'your' bees. 'Nuisance' is the problem and 'colony death' by improperly sprayed insecticides another, but not a single bee sting?

Regards, RAB
 

VEG 

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If he is serious you need to find a new friend. :leaving:
 

victor meldrew 

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In the worst case scenario - no!

The burden of proof would be on them to be sure it came from your colony. Not really sure that an isolated incident could create a risk, but if they were persistently stung, that may be a different matter.

They are not 'your' bees after they have flown away. If lucky, they may return but your neighbour might have swatted it and even if you knew they swatted bees, you could not easily sue for murder of 'your' bees. 'Nuisance' is the problem and 'colony death' by improperly sprayed insecticides another, but not a single bee sting?

Regards, RAB
I have heard the counter argument that 'should a person be stung in the vicinity of your apiary !a civil action includes the "probability factor" . whereas proof beyond doubt is required under criminal law'?

I read somewhere ,that a precedence has been set with regard to such an incident !

John Wilkinson
 

Dishmop 

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Ask him who he will sue if he gets stung by a wasp....:seeya:
 

oliver90owner 

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JW,

Agreed not 100% proof needed, but....

One sting, apparently not adjacent, presumably there are similar sized plots (big enough for a hive) and pollination, collection of nectar/pollen might be different from the precedent? Vicinity obviously needs defining.

All my bees leave my garden at least two metres high and for most, probably over 4m. There are also quite a large number of foraging hives within one mile, as the bee flies.

Now if that person was in a direct flight line or was in the same garden as the hive, things might be different.

For the first time in eight years, a neighbor complained (not nastily, more a comment), this last season - she said 'your bees are noisy' (at times)!

Regards, RAB
 

fredbloggs 

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The real answer is there is not one ?

As suggested, any case would be decided on "probabilities" and "reason" - not exactly fully defined within English law methinks? The detail of the case would centre on the activities & considerations of the relevant parties - which is where your groundwork and anti lawsuit preparation could stand you in good stead over your neighbour.

As English law can at times be interpreted as an ass, and as you are in Central Scotland, I suggest you wait till gavin chimes in with his interpretaion as to wether the law up there would be any different. You then start to safeguard your position - or move? :banghead:

Regards

FB
 

Dishmop 

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If the neighbour was stung whilst in his own garden you should tell him that it is therefore his bee.:rofl:
 

Moggs 

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Hmmm. This may ruffle a few feathers...

Whatever the 'nature' of bees, it is fairly obvious that a beekeeper has a duty of care to those people who may be affected by acts or omissions. The 'balance of probability' has already been mentioned.

This is an example of extreme negligence but folks, the precedent has been set! This from a tame 'legal type' that I know very well: (I particularly like the reference to "mischievous" bees)!

Bees are seen to be domesticated and therefore not a "dangerous species" under the Animals Act 1971.

However, the case of O'Gorman v O'Gorman [1903] shows that you can still be found negligent if you are acting unreasonably:

Plaintiff and defendant resided on adjacent farms. Defendant kept 20 beehives at the boundary fence beside plaintiff’s yard and haggard. The bees swarming from these hives frequently gave rise to complaints from the inhabitants of the farm upon which plaintiff resided. Defendant having smoked the hives with a ‘smoker,’ numbers of bees, irritated by the smoking operation, swarmed upon plaintiff who was tackling his horse. The horse, stung by the bees, dragged plaintiff and threw him violently against a wall, causing severe injuries. The jury found that the bees were kept on defendant’s land negligently, in unreasonable numbers, at an unreasonable place, and with appreciable danger to the inhabitants of the adjoining farm, that the bees were, to the knowledge of defendant, of a dangerous and mischievous nature, and accustomed to sting mankind and domestic animals, and returned a general verdict for the plaintiff: Held the verdict - ought not to be disturbed.
 
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Dishmop 

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Two brothers who didnt like each other?
 

Teemore 

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If someone gets stung beside your apiary and there are no other apiaries near by, it is probable that a court would determine that on the balance of probabilities it was your bee that did the stinging however, can the person prove that it was a bee and not a wasp that stung them or possibly a horse fly (or clag/clegg to folk in my neck of the woods)? Bees are deemed to be ferae naturae (semi wild/ not truly domesticated) and from memory once they are out of sight of your apiary/their hive, they are considered to be wild animals. If you are thus stung by a wild animal, against whom do you have legal redress? As mentioned, the main problem is likely to arise from complaints of nuisance and at this point you would have to demonstrate that you managed your bees reasonably and effectively and that your apiary was sited in line with good practice with a view to the safety of others. For this reason I feel it is good practice for associations to advise members on the siting of hives (use common sense). Even with insurance in place, if it was demonstrated that a bee keeper had been negligent in the management of their bees and apiary, an insurance company may refuse to cover any arising loss.
 

Dishmop 

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I read some where that one MUST NOT put up any sign that says anything like "Warning Danger Bees" as by doing so you acknowledge that you might be endangering others....

What about the wasp problem at Alton Towers? Do those wasps belong to Alton Towers?
 

steve1958 

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My Bee Hives are all full of un-tamed non-domesticated wild insects.
They are not mine
I do not own them.
They come and go as they please
In fact last year one swarm just up and left never to be seen again.

My bird boxes are much the same.
Inhabited part of the year by wild birds.

I cannot see that anyone getting stung, bitten, or [email protected] on by a bird or Bee choosing to have temporary housing on my property, can have a case against me.

:beatdeadhorse5:
 

Skyhook 

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Hmmm. This may ruffle a few feathers...

Plaintiff and defendant resided on adjacent farms. Defendant kept 20 beehives at the boundary fence beside plaintiff’s yard and haggard. The bees swarming from these hives frequently gave rise to complaints from the inhabitants of the farm upon which plaintiff resided. Defendant having smoked the hives with a ‘smoker,’ numbers of bees, irritated by the smoking operation, swarmed upon plaintiff who was tackling his horse. .[/FONT]
Doesn't ruffle my feathers. Quite frankly, if someone put 20 hives against the fence of my work area, then worked the hives while I was busy there, I would want redress. With a whole farm to choose from, he'd clearly put them there to provoke his neighbour/brother. Sounds like a lovely man.

Also, doesn't sound very English (adjacent farmyards, horses). Do we know what time and country this case is?
 

drstitson 

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horse farmers

ireland 1903

http://www.lawreform.ie/_fileupload/consultation papers/wpAnimals.htm

interesting quote re the case:

"Again, if a person keeps animals in such numbers that they unreasonably interfere with his neighbour's enjoyment of his property then the owner of the animals may be liable in Nuisance."

i can understand that keeping 100 ducks & geese in the yard next to a house might be construed a nuisance BUT how do you quantitate numbers for bees - hives, >50,000 per hive????

DOI: 100+ noisy poultry, angry bees and 28 mostly feral cats
 
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Moggs 

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The case that I mentioned appears to have been around 1903! Apparently not much more comes to light during a ten minute trawl of legal archives. Which may (or may not!) suggest that such issues are thankfully few and far between!
 

Poly Hive 

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I fear Steve you are very sadly mistaken and I have a book of English case law which says so... Beware your responsibilities.

PH
 

victor meldrew 

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My Bee Hives are all full of un-tamed non-domesticated wild insects.
They are not mine
I do not own them.
They come and go as they please
In fact last year one swarm just up and left never to be seen again.

My bird boxes are much the same.
Inhabited part of the year by wild birds.

I cannot see that anyone getting stung, bitten, or [email protected] on by a bird or Bee choosing to have temporary housing on my property, can have a case against me.

:beatdeadhorse5:
Where ignorance is bliss ETC.

John Wilkinson
 

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