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jetta 

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Hello,
I was wondering if anyone could let me know their own personal experiences (positive and negative) of keeping bees in the garden. I have a good sized garden backing onto fields, but neighbours on either side (8ft fences though). I also have a dog, 2 chickens, 2 children (11,14). I would like to be able to continue mowing the lawn (and have been told bees don't like this). I have been on a bee keeping taster day, read lots of books, and I'm waiting to go on the BKA beginners course but what I really need to know is if people in 2010 are keeping hives in gardens in the sort of circumstance that I am describing---because some of the posts I have read here seem so discouraging about this, and that seems to be in contrast to what I have read elsewhere.
Best wishes,
Jetta
 

Polyanwood 

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I'd say talk to your neighbours. I have a 100ft garden and children and animals. Neighbours on one side have been so supportive. Neighbours on the other screached and video'd me and threatened me with their lawyers.

When bees swarm most people get upset. My neighbours went ballistic. When the bees got grumpy animals and the children and husband complained a lot.


Now no bees in the garden :(

Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

MrB 

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Hi jeta, and welcome to the foum.

you will no doubt get mixed responces to your question.

I have my hive in my back garden surounded by 6ft hedges down the sides and a 6ft fence to the rear, and neighbours on all of those 3 sides.
the neighbours on the sides know i have bee's and are happy about it, the ones over the fence dont know they are there!

they are here as the site i was expecting to use as an out apiary didnt happen in time so i had little choice.
i would of course love to keep the one hive here at home but would not consider anymore here.

its not so much the everyday commings/goings of the bees, the most likley problem would be when they swarm as this could be quite alarming for the neighbours!

Also, realise that if your neighbour gets stung they are sure to blame your bee's!!

when you get to see the bee's on your course at the association apiary, that will at least give you some idea of the area that you might need.

Hope that helps :)
 

madasafish 

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I have just started beekeeping this year.
Houses opposite, house on one side, fields at rear and one side. TBHs hidden from road behind hedge at rear of house and between us and neighbours a 4 foot fence and trees about 20 feet high - and lots of them.
Our next door neighbour knows I have started beekeeping and I have invited them and grandchildren in to see the bees: which are very good natured and docile.

I cut the grass with petrol lawnmower within 1 metre of both hives - in the afternoon when foragers are out -- and bees ignore me.

Because of hedges and trees all bee paths are well up in air: sufficient to clear single deck buses on road.

I use a camouflage beesuit so no evidence of beekeeping!

With now well over 10,000 bees, no-one would know.

I visited a beekeeper on Saturday in mid Stoke on Trent with semis all around.. Good natured bees and neighbours have no isues although gardens were small : approx 20 metres long.

I have to say that our garden is 60 metres long at rear x 50 metres wide so quite large.


Most of my across the raod neighbours either don't know I have bees or do know but see no impact.

Badly behaved bees would be a different issue...I suspect...
 

milkermel 

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I am fortunate to not have any imediate neighbours, I keep the bees in my garden - now have 3 hives from missing queen cells!!! dogs both got stung day 1 and 3 of first 5 frame nuc, now have nearly all 30 frames full with bees and dogs have learnt to stay away, Same with children- first sting they will learn!!

I do keep an area of about a metre clear that i dont mow, strim at night when all my girls in bed - shut the door to make sure!!!

Not a problem with flight paths as they face into a nice line of manky conifers! Hated them when we first moved into our rented house, but love them now as each swarm I had settled at about 4ft off ground in the mentioned conifers, nice and easy to recover!

Get your neighbours on board and see how it goes, bribery of honey often works!!
 

Martind111 

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Hi Jetta,

I too only started bee keeping this year (about 6 weeks ago). I have about 1/2 acre garden with 14 hens, 2 dogs, 2 kids (12 & 13) and 3 adjoining neighbours.

Even when my 1st hive swarmed the neighbour at the end of the garden was fascinated and watched in great detail as I lumbered round to his house and nearly fell off his step ladder whilst retreiving them :smash: His wife was even stung whilst taking photo's of me!!

My experience so far has been very positive, I find it so interesting and enjoyable. I now have 2 hives (since the swarm) so am ambling along reasonably well!

Martin.
 

Widdershins 

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...ALWAYS have a plan B! (& possibly C, D and E as well!)
 

susbees 

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Use a good size TBH for a garden. They are much easier to check over without the need for smoke, the bees like the system :). Make sure you have a good source of (dirty!) water for them (bird bath etc) to keep them away from the neighbours' splash pools. Children that age should be fine unless they kick a football at the side of the hive.
 

Beeblairbuie 

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Gardens are for sharing

I am lucky no immediate neighbours and its pretty rural but I do know of others who have hives in the garden and as has been mentioned the only problem comes if they swarm. we have plenty visitors with children and as long as we mention it to them to stay well away from the hive they have looked n with delight and interest at the coming and going of the girls,
good luck
 

Rosti 

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...ALWAYS have a plan B! (& possibly C, D and E as well!)
:iagree:

I think this thread should recognise that bees can present an unpredictable hazard beyond simple swarming and without warning. I have been chased 400m+ by one hive on rape and grumpy after bad weather. I have had a queenless hive become so aggressive that they poured out and attacked (yes, the right word) without their hive even being disturbed.

As Widdershins states, if this sort of scenario occurs you must have a plan B location and must also consider how you are going to deal with the neighbour fallout if they are the target rather than yourself. There are a great number of threads on this subject and the wider experiences are worth a trawl through to help you consider your options and their implications. R
 
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I have mine in a smallish garden surrounded by 6ft fences (thats 2 metres to you young persons) so bees are at least 15ft (work it out) before they are over any neighbouring property.

What I have wondered is does it make any difference what size the garden is, because my bees pay no notice whatsoever to the flowers in my garden. They dont even seem to notice that there is any garden surrounding thier hive.
 
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I'm rural, 1/3 acre garden. The bees are in a fruit cage against 8-9 ft hedge with oaks/chestnut (sweet) around 1 side, other 2 sides our garden. Live with F-in-L, who was certain that they would make our garden a no-go zone...

No problems, apart from picking in the fruit cage...I wear my suit. They were Q- for a few weeks and were a bit grumpy, but still allowed grass-cutting etc. We have a dog, but thanks to the cage he can't get in.

If they weren't at home I couldn't have bees - so hope it never becomes an issue. Neighbours were fine - as long as they don't swarm - can't promise but will try my best, was the reply! No other neighbours know/see/realise...
 

nelletap 

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Jetta
only just seen this so I am sorry if this is too late to be useful. I am in buckinghamshioe too and keep bees in my garden. I have neighbours both sides (they have been supportive and I spoke to them before I got the bees). To be fair, the hives are in a slightly wilder part of the garden and slightly separated. Neighbours have dogs at the moment who have got through - no problem. The children from the family next door (3 girls aged between 5 and 14) are interested and 2 of my grandchildren are fascinated. they and my hubby (not usually one to get excited about animate objects) have been fascinated that they can watch them. At a little distance from the hive their activity can be seen without danger and then we see them on the plants and can look at the pollen baskets and then use a little identification chart to check colours etc. I use an observation board at times and then bring that in and get a little USB microscope on the bits. (Cover with clingfilm from hive to house if it is windy). I also let the grandchildren have the children's pages from bee craft.
Did you know there will be bees at hughenden manor from this year? The apiary has been built, also the hives though no bees as yet. A team of volunteers will manage it and the newbies will learn beekeeping at the same time - obviously there are also more experienced keepers. I am not far from hughenden manor; there are two blogs that mention the hobby and the manor project - they are http://apiarylandlord.wordpress.com/ and http://hughendenbees.wordpress.com/preparations/ If you are not far and want to see the garden and hives, let me know.
Tricia
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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sadly, no more!
We found that during year one, when the colonies were relatively small and just building up, things were find with the hives in the garden.

But last year (our second), we discovered that larger colonies could present a problem at times. Especially when - as I suspect is bound to happen from time to time - the bees got a bit grumpy. We keep a Bed & Breakfast, and discovered that a bad-tempered bee can fly more quickly than even the most agile B&B guest can run!

Bees now outhoused - they, we and our B&B guests all seem much more relaxed.
 

oliver90owner 

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nelletap,

Not a lot of point in ressurecting this for jetta, I fear.

Last activity for jetta is recorded as: 14th September 2010 10:30 PM

RAB
 

Habel 

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was an intresting read though, I have just bought an end terrace house with a nice big rear garden, approx 30m long, and 10m wide. there are gardens either side and to the read. I was thinking of maybe keeping one hive and the back of the garden behind the shed but now im not sure as i dont want to make enemies with the neighbours! And this would be my 1st experience with bees so im sure to make mistakes!
 

nelletap 

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I am particularly lucky. I think my garden is about 200 ft frontage to the lane and extends some 80 metres from the back of the house. The last 30 m is enclosed with trees and tall holly edges with just the south exposed a little more and that is fields. there is also a 5 metre 'corridor' of foliage into this back area. This means any bee followers tend to be distracted by the foliage before they arrive in the part of the garden where all the rest of stuff goes on. One visitor was stung but was OK (this was really because they didn't follow my guidance).

Had my garden been less convenient I think I would have regretted starting to keep bees there. PLEASE don't think that if your garden might not be perfect then you'll give up the idea because in many ways it might be a blessing in disguise. BKA's get lots of offers of places that can be used as out apiaries and it gives more scope to share a venue with other beekeepers - this means you have advice and a spare pair of hands close by.
 

protheroe 

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your neighbours are probably going to get stung sooner or later,the people either side of me have.A few jars of free honey helps.Find an out apiary for emergencies because even the calmest colonies can act like they have had a visit from the devil sometimes
 

priono 

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I have mine in a smallish garden surrounded by 6ft fences (thats 2 metres to you young persons) .
actually it's just 1.8meters 12inches is 1ft x 6 = 2.51cm x 12 x 6 = 180.72cm
 

madasafish 

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actually it's just 1.8meters 12inches is 1ft x 6 = 2.51cm x 12 x 6 = 180.72cm
Ah.. but are you measuring from the top of the fence pole to the soil or from the top of the fence panel to the soil? Is the soil level ? Is it grassed? Is there a gap from soil to bottom of fence panel?

We pedants need to know these things when a fellow pedant starts being pedantic...:biggrinjester:
 

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