How to Ease the Minds of Family and Neighbors When Beekeeping

Many people among the general public are ignorant about honey bees. Having been stung by hornets and yellow jackets, they assume having any kind of bee nearby spells trouble. Not true. It’s up to you to take steps to educate them and alleviate their fears.

Some things you can do to put them at ease are

  • Restricting your beeyard to two hives or less. Having a couple of hives is far less intimidating to the uneducated than if you had a whole phalanx of hives.

  • Locating your hive in such a way that it doesn’t point at your neighbor's driveway, your house entrance, or some other pedestrian traffic-way. Bees fly up, up, and away as they leave the hive. Once they’re 15 feet from the hive, they’re way above head level.

  • Not flaunting your hives. Put them in an area where they’ll be inconspicuous.

  • Painting or staining your hives to blend into the environment. Painting them flame orange is only tempting fate.

  • Providing a nearby source of water for your bees. That keeps them from collecting water from your neighbor’s pool or birdbath.

  • Inviting folks to stop by and watch you inspect your hive. They’ll see first-hand how gentle bees are, and your own enthusiasm will be contagious.

  • Letting your neighbors know that bees fly in about a three-mile radius of home plate (that’s roughly 6,000 acres). So mostly they’ll be visiting a huge area that isn’t anywhere near your neighbor's property.

  • Giving gifts of honey to all your immediate neighbors. This gesture goes a long way in the public relations department.

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