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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Beekeepers in Secret

Many beekeepers feel uncomfortable letting their neighbors know that they have bees. People tend to interpret any sting as a sting from your bees if they know you have them. Beekeepers know that your bees don't just sting for fun - they sting if the hive is threatened or if you threaten their lives. The usual neighborhood sting is from a yellow jacket or a wasp....not a honeybee. It's ironic that a hobby which is helping pollinate the planet is one that is often kept secret to those around you.

Here's an article on the subject.

My neighbors don't know that I keep bees. My hives are on my deck in my backyard which backs up to woods. I am on a hill and my house is at the top of the hill. The neighbors on either side of me are at a slightly lower elevation. When they look at my deck, they are looking up enough that they can't see the hives. There is tall red-tipped photinia
that lines the deck on the side of the closest neighbor.

The other saving grace in my location is that in Georgia, the mosquitoes are terrible in the summer. If you have a deck, sitting on it is impossible at the very time of year when one might like to. If my closest neighbor sat on her deck more, she might notice my bees, but so far, if she has, she has said nothing.

I don't keep it too secret. I get packages from bee suppliers delivered to my carport where they sit with Dadant or Walter T. Kelley or Betterbee emblazoned on their sides until I come home from work. A friend gave me some 25 year old used hive boxes from his beekeeping that many years ago that I haven't moved out of my carport because unless I take the boxes apart and torch them, I'm afraid I might be moving AFB onto my deck since he doesn't know how his last hives died.

With the news full of bees disappearing, this seems like a time in which a neighbor might be glad someone is keeping bees, but I'm not going to take the risk of hanging my bee flag on my deck or putting a beekeeper bumper sticker on my car.

1 comment:

  1. I sympathize, Linda. My wife and I held off telling our neighbors and hadn't planned on doing so, but then I decided that we should tell them. All were not fazed in the slightest, much to my surprise.

    It has been interesting when we have had friends and neighbors come into the backyard, and I show them the hive with lots of bees flying around. They are usually very nervous, but I reassure them and they realize that the bees aren't trying to sting them, and it helps correct their misconceptions.

    Still, it's an individual decision that must be made, to tell neighbors about the hive.


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