Anyone have thoughts on urban bee keeping?


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Hey everybody, I know this isn't necessarily plant specific but I always wonder about this during the summer when I watch bees come to my various plants. In the city there are definitely fewer bees but I'm never sure if urban bee keeping is actually a good thing or not. Maybe bees weren't really meant to live in my random city back yard? Maybe it helps? Anyone ever tried it or have thoughts on it?
 
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If I were your neighbor I would not have a problem with it because I understand bees. Others might not and would be terrified that their pets or themselves would be attacked and stung to death. The world is full of ignorant people and if not ignorant, litigious.
 
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Hey everybody, I know this isn't necessarily plant specific but I always wonder about this during the summer when I watch bees come to my various plants. In the city there are definitely fewer bees but I'm never sure if urban bee keeping is actually a good thing or not. Maybe bees weren't really meant to live in my random city back yard? Maybe it helps? Anyone ever tried it or have thoughts on it?
Depends on your neighbors but I would approve. If you do it I'd get their approval first
 
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We keep bees, but we are in the country. Nevertheless, we surveyed the surrounding neighbors to see if anyone was sensitive to stings or had a problem with us having hives. They were enthusiastic, and we now have hives.
Bees will forage in a three-mile radius, so don't worry about them living in a city back yard. Bees will find nectar and pollen if it's available within their range.
Please tell us where you are (Washington state, Kansas, Georgia?) because that has a lot to do with how you keep bees. We are in Texas, and don't have to winterize our hives. We can also take two honey harvests. Many folks in colder areas have to do the winterizing, and not harvest in the fall, but leave the honey for the bees to eat over the winter.
 
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I live in Boston so it sounds like I would definitely need to winterize the hive, but what exactly does that entail? How can I tell if there is enough food for a hive in a 3 mile radius? Thanks for all the info!
 
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I wouldn't mind someone beekeeping, but my fiance would sadly. He is highly allergic to bees, so he freaks out when he's around them. One bee sting could kill him in minutes. Personally, it wouldn't bother me. I love the little guys and know how important they are.
 
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To be honest, I'm not sure if beekeeping is allowed in my city. But I hope it is! I love bees, they're amazing little creatures. If I had a garden, I'd put a beehive in it:)
 
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When we moved here in our present house, we had plans of embarking on bee-keeping. However, we learned the ropes when we attended an informal seminar in the nearby town. It was difficult because we had to tend it frequently. And since we might experience lack of time so we did not pursue that plan. Ironically, there are honey bees frequenting our backyard particularly when the banana in the backyard had bloomed. The honey bees were regular visitors of the banana flower.
 

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It would depend on how close the houses are to each other for me. If you have a very large area and the bees were well away from my house not a problem. I have 3 people in my house that go crazy when they see a bee. I believe in live and let live, the bee does not bother me I will not bother the bee.
 
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Tundra, winterizing a hive involves wrapping it in black felt roofing material, but leaving the opening for the bees to enter and exit (they will fly on a sunny, still winter day). Some keepers use hay bales or straw bales around the hives, but since you are urban, that probably isn't an option. Plastic is a no-no since it holds in moisture and the bees can work themselves to death trying to dry out the hive.
Alexis, your boyfriend ought to carry an epipen whenever he is outside. If stung, he can inject himself immediately with anti-venom. He should still get to the nearest hospital or clinic ASAP, but only as a precaution.
 
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I love bees but I also live in the city. Keeping hives is out for me, so I planted various flowers that attracted bees like wild aster, lantana, bachelor buttons, and other in my garden. I see a variety of bees in the summer and they don't actually bother any of us if we don't bother them.
 
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I live in Boston so it sounds like I would definitely need to winterize the hive, but what exactly does that entail? How can I tell if there is enough food for a hive in a 3 mile radius? Thanks for all the info!

Living in Boston you will have plenty of food for bees, There are green areas all over the city, The parks in Boston can feed a large army of bees. Check with the city first before setting up hives to see if they allow it. I'm on the other side of Ma. the new land of MGM :ROFLMAO: and part of the city will allow you to keep one or 2 hives, I'm close to down town so I can't have a hive but I do have Mason bees that make their home in gardens. Keep us posted on your hives.
 
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I live in Indiana, and my husband and I have thought about getting bees and keeping them in our back yard. We live out in the country, and wouldn't have any issues with people complaining, since we have 8 acres of land. Our only debate on this is,what type of bees to actually get. I want to make sure we are reaping the benefits of the bees, and my garden flowers are as well. I have no idea if the grounds around our house will host enough for them, or if I need to go out and purchase specific plants and ground coverings for the bees to feed off of.
 
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Tracy, Check for a local bee keepers in your area and talk to them about bee keeping on you land and find out what you need to start out with, I know the honey bee around here come from a bee keeper about 3 miles away, so your bees would find enough food. I have Mason bees in my garden their great they don't sting and don't care if your around them.
 
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Tracey, we keep bees on a nine acre small farm. I checked with all the folks up and down our road to find out if any of them had problems with bee keeping. None did, but if just one had a family member that was truly allergic (not just sensitive) to a bee sting, we would have given up the idea.
Honey bees forage for nectar and pollen in a three mile circle from their hive. They don't drink from a water source close to the hive--they like to drink farther away, up to a mile.
Planting to attract bees will get you someone else's bees to pollinate in your garden. We plant borage, zinnias, lavender, and the bees love squash blossoms! Our ladies aren't all that interested in our garden flowers, but do use them occasionally. We do get a lot of other pollinators, including wasps.
If you get bees, I highly recommend you get a starter kit of Italian bees. They are sturdy, non-aggressive, and are easier to keep than some other breeds. Getting started in bee keeping is expensive--full suit for the beekeeper, two hives with supers, bottom boards, and a good book on beekeeping. Our original set-up cost about $400, and then we also invested in an extractor for the honey. Bee hives.jpg Bottled Honey 2.jpg Bee hives.jpg Bottled Honey 2.jpg
 
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You can keep bees in urban places if you are sure that they will get enough flowers. You will not expect them to produce honey if there are no flowers around. You will also have to place the beehive near a source of clean water and away from disturbance. Beehives must be placed away from ants and honey badgers. Any disturbance can lead to the bees getting aggressive and start stinging people or any pets around.
 
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Urban beekeeping is a real possibility. It depends on the species of bees you wish to rear. There is a variety of bees called stingless bees, to be specific carpenter bees. They are larger than the African bee and quite tame. You can grow flowers around the homestead to provide a steady supply of nectar. Their hives can even be kept in the bedroom!
 
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Please, bare in mind that you will need some form of insurance if you plant to keep bees on an urban center, please take a look at the U.S.D.A. Apiculture Insurance Program, specially for the general liability part, and also please bare in mind that you will need additional coverage if you plan to actually sell the honey at a farmers market.

Depending on your insurance company you could have some trouble getting an umbrella coverage homeowners insurance if you declare that you are keeping honeybees, please clear that out first.
 
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I would not be ok with it if it was my neighbor. I'm generally ok with bees myself, but I have two small children who might now react well and who might do something not so smart when faced with a large quantity of bees. One or two bees is one thing, but a hive could be trouble for a curious child. I'm all for it if your neighbors are 100 yards or way or so, but I don't think its a good idea if you have neighbors much closer than that. JMHO.
 
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Keeping honey bees may not be good if you have curious children around. Keeping Mason bees are easy to keep and don't sting as a rule, if they do its more like a bug bite. Mason Bees houses are hung high so that young kids won't bother them and in the winter you can keep the bee house in your garage until spring.
 

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