Backyard Beekeeping In A Suburban Area. Beekeepers in the suburbs and small cities need to manage their bees so they do not create problems for the neighbors. Here are some simple steps backyard beekeepers can take to keep the neighbors and the bees happy.
Change The Flight Path
When the bees leave their hives to gather food, they will fly about 3-4 feet off the ground. You can prevent them from flying into people by planting a hedge or building a fence at least 6 feet tall. This forces the bees to fly higher when starting their search for food. If your roof has a flat area you might consider putting your hives on the rooftop. This starts them out flying at a much higher level than people walk.
Fence, hedges, and rooftops also provide seclusion for your bees. By keeping bees out of sight they will not be the target of vandalism or theft. Also keeping bees out of sight will be better for any worried neighbors.
Bottom Hive Entrance
Backyard Beekeeping Tip. Whenever a hive with a top entrance is opened and hive bodies moved, hundreds of confused bees will be flying around because their entrance is gone. This will probably worry your neighbors. By providing only a bottom entrance, and working from the side or from behind the hive, the bees are not impeded from flying home even when all the upper boxes are removed.
Keep A Reliable Water Supply
In the wild, honeybees create their hives in close proximity to natural water sources such as streams, ponds and rivers. To ensure that your bees will get enough water, you have to install water sources near your hive.
You can use shallow water pans with pebbles added to the bottom of the pans. Fill the pans with some water but do not allow the pebbles to become completely submerged. Bees do not hover when they take a drink (and they need a lot of water) they perch. Bees need something to perch on when they lower their proboscis into the water; otherwise, they might drown.
If your bees do not have enough water, they will seek out sources beyond the borders of your backyard. If you have a neighbor with a swimming pool, your neighbors might complain that your bees are taking a drink in their pool everyday!
A beekeeper must keep the bees in control every time the hive is open. A typical hive can house thousands of workers all capable of stinging. By correctly setting up your hives and water sources you can expect to enjoy plenty of delicious honey for a long time to come.
Author: James L. Collins