response to request for homes for my hives

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House Bee
Dec 8, 2008
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i put an ad on the local Freecycle site and got a fantastic response 13 so far.

some are based in your typical suburban semi, others further out in the surrounding countryside.

i am going to post the pro-forma reply below to all respondents, but before i do can i have any comments suggestions please;


Many thanks for replying to my request for homes for my bees. I have had a phenomenal response and will reply personally to everyone shortly with more details. I apologise for not replying sooner.
I have two pairs of hives (keeping at least 2 together is considered best practise) and will want to move them in early spring. During the spring and summer they will need examination weekly and, dependent on what the bees are doing, may need up to an hour's work per hive. These times and days are generally fairly flexible, but free access without having to pass through the house would probably be most appropriate.
Bees DO sting. Anyone in the area who is stung by any flying insect will tend to blame bees they know of locally. Hives can become aggressive and problematic and will need requeening. Hives also swarm, usually early in the season, swarms are fairly safe and the bees are unlikely to sting as their bellies are full of honey for the new colony, however they can be frightening if you are not used to them. Any problems of the sort listed above will be dealt with immediately by myself or if I am unavailable by my father. I will be covered by insurance should anything go wrong.

For those who cannot house hives, I will be constructing some 'bait hives' to catch swarms during the season. These are small hives with a scented oil in them to lure in swarms that are looking for new homes. They contain no bees on installation but a swarm in them is a controlled swarm and means they will get a nice new home and a thorough health check. Occasionally and with great luck they can be reunited with the beekeeper who lost them.

I you have any questions not covered above please email me. I shall be sending a personal email to each of you to follow, along with further details and more information as an attachment.

You could add that the bait hives can be moved as soon as bees have taken up residence.

Have you had any offers from land owners?
I posted to my freecycle about swarm collection, but the post was not approved.

But you then get people asking for 42" LCD TV's, Nintendo Wii's and laptops:svengo:
Could I suggest a slight ammendment to read Hives may swarm, as it reads at the moment it makes it sound inevitable.
Also the cynical part of me wouldnt put in the insurance bit as it could be inviting claims.
One last point it covers all the negative points of "homing" a hive but without the positives. I know the rules of freecycle prohibit offers of payment but the mention of a jar or two of honey may be a good idea at this point.

:cheers2: nice work guys
i forget we're all so litiguous these days. ill add that on the bait hives and add a positive note or two too.
My only comment is "two pairs".

That to me is 4 not two. :)

I've just been told that I cannot use freecycle for this purpose as they do not allow pets for free or rehoming, more jobsworths than you can shake a stick at.
Hi Lincs

You may just need to reword useing more practical terms.

You are not looking to home or even re-home, you are looking to site hives on land.

You are not even giving them away free, you are managing them and just need a location.

And they are not pets, or though some would treat them as such:cheers2:

Try another mail but word it carefully.

Regards Ian
hi Ian

my actual wording was, looking for sites to locate beehives. didn't think i could get less contraversial than that.
Hi lincs

Just a thought, what did Arti put on?

Maybe you just got the wrong person at the wrong time:svengo: any chance of asking for a justification or sending a mail higher up the food chain.:toetap05:

I thought it looked a very good way of finding sites, we always have large numbers of beginners that require spots to put hives, and thought this may have solved the problem for some.

Regards Ian
its whoever runs the group that has made the decision, so no higher to go i'm afraid.
i had already joined the landshare thingy, but that seems to lead nowhere
this is the original ad i put in the cafe section of our local freecycle site;

"hi all,
i am a keen local beekeeper (Cemetary Junction)
I'm hoping to find someone locally who would like to house some of my
hives. In return i can offer honey and candles and the wonderful
experience of watching these fascinating little creatures. I will be
fully insured and can promise to create as little inconvenience as
i can be contacted at artibaton@yahoo.
many thanks in advance

I am a regular poster into the offered section for all of my family, and frequently put in wanted ads for timber stating that i'll build beehives out of them and get a fairly good response each time. All ads for carpentry tools and beekeeping equipment go unanswered.;) strangely so did the one for the Hillman Imp i put in at Admin's suggestion;)
Hi Lincsbee,
What about trying another Freecycle group in your area who may have have a more accommodating moderator.
My local freecycle has the same rule or moderator is brother of your one .

However, they did allow one for "Wanted - Swarms" with the moderator adding a long justification essay about not usually including pets or livestock but since this was a public service and the Honey bee is under threat, colonies should not be destroyed like wasps.

I emailed the successful poster offering to cover any he couldn't get to ( fat chance, swarm collection in my area is a real closed shop - even if I saw a swarm I bet someone would beat me to it in the 10 minutes I took to go home for a skep !) and he emailed back that he had also been offered sites for colonies from people who liked the idea of having bees on their land but not the time/ inclination to keep them.

However, his offer to pass on sites he couldnt use or swarms he couldnt deal with lead to precisely 0 further contacts... I wonder if the local swarm mafia got to him ?

Anyway, if you are prepared to go for swarms as well, it might be a worth a try.

Best of luck --


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