Bees are awesome little creatures. It would be hard to imagine a world without them, but the reality is there are many diseases that are threatening their existence. Because of the seriousness of these threats, many people have felt the need to “help” the bees. This desire to help, coupled with the recent introduction of the Flow Hive has resulted in an increased interest in beekeeping, and hobby beekeepers.
Thanks to the efforts of beekeepers and the media, a large portion of the public have developed a positive view of bees and beekeeping. Thousands of people who have no experience in beekeeping are now buying packages of bees, installing them in fancy hives, and willingly introducing thousands of stinging insects to their back yards. Unfortunately, there is still a large portion of the public that do not care about the future of bees, and most definitely do not want these stinging bugs near their homes.
All beekeepers, especially urban beekeepers, need to realize that not everyone shares the same fondness for bees. Hiding your hobby is not the solution. No matter how sneaky you are, your neighbors will find out you have bees and they will complain if you do not take the necessary precautions. if you do not do your part to address any negative opinions they have or might develop because of your beekeeping practices.
As with anything, the actions of one person can destroy it for the rest. There are many examples of towns banning beekeeping in response to a single careless beekeeper’s actions. It is unfortunate that a city would feel the need to ban beekeeping, but it happens all the time. Beekeepers need to be aware of the concerns of others. Learning about and practicing basic beekeeping etiquette will help avoid problems.
I have listed a few basic beekeeping practices that might help beekeepers, especially in urban settings. This is definitely not a complete list. If you would like to see something added to or changed on this list, let me know in the comments and I will add them.
- Be aware of the concerns others have about bees and how you can address those concerns.
- Meet with your neighbors and tell them you are bringing hives in before you set them up in your yard.
- Be aware of your hives flight pattern. Keep it directed away from high traffic areas and your neighbors yard.
- Avoid having too many hives on your property. Use good judgement, don’t bombard your neighbors with bees.
- Provide a water source for your bees, so they do not find one on your neighbors property.
- Deal with aggressive hives before they get out of hand.
- If your state requires registering your hives, make sure that they are registered.