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To think our neighbours should have spoken to us before deciding to keep a bee hive?

(137 Posts)
slatternlymother Mon 04-Jun-12 14:12:11

Our neighbours 2 doors down have recently decided to take up beekeeping. The first we knew of it was when the bees were disturbed, creating a large angry swarm.

My DH is allergic to bee stings (and so naturally has quite a debilitating fear) and DS is only 18mo; I just would have thought they would have at least knocked on our door and said 'by the way, we're starting a hive and the bees will be disturbed by us at X time so you might want to shut your doors and windows'. They seem like nice people, but there seems to be a lack of consideration for others.

The bees are swarming right now, so even though the sun is shining, we can't get outside in the garden to play with DS like we wanted to sad

AIBU to think they have been a bit unfair on the rest of the neighbourhood? It's quite a populated area.

ripsishere Mon 04-Jun-12 14:13:07

I am not sure what the rules are TBH. Do they know of the allergy?

slatternlymother Mon 04-Jun-12 14:15:33

They don't; this is a recent development and I have knocked twice but they were out both times. They are mid 60's, and keep a lovely garden anyway so maybe bees was the 'next step' for them. I'm at a loss as to what to say or do tbh.

WorraLiberty Mon 04-Jun-12 14:16:29

<< Shudders >>

This would be my worst nightmare

Possibly they didn't say anything because they don't see it as a problem themselves?

lattelov3r Mon 04-Jun-12 14:16:32

I would be pissed who on earth decides to keep bees confused

slatternlymother Mon 04-Jun-12 14:17:58

I guess they dont worral, I just find the whole thing rather inconsiderate. Mostly it's ok; but when they go to collect honey or clean them out or whatever it is you do with bees it creates a swarm preventing us from being outside at all.

G1nger Mon 04-Jun-12 14:19:38


DamnBamboo Mon 04-Jun-12 14:19:47

They don't need license for this however so there is nothing you can do about this.

All you can do is maybe tell them of your DH allergies and let them think about it further.

If they've already got them they will have spent a fair bit of money on it so don't be surprised if they don't relent and get rid.

Just make sure you've always got in-date epi-pens.

DamnBamboo Mon 04-Jun-12 14:20:23

IF their activity means you can't use your garden, you could always contact the council and complain

CrispyCod Mon 04-Jun-12 14:20:39

Aren't bee numbers decreasing? I believe more people in urban areas are being encouraged to keep them and entice them into your gardens by planting more flowers. Sales of bee houses are on the increase, seems to be the new trend in gardening.

Not helpful at all if you react to bee stings, very very frightening. Sorry, not sure what to suggest.

slatternlymother Mon 04-Jun-12 14:21:42

damn I know you don't need a licence in this country, which seems odd to me!

I don't even know how to word it, really without sounding bitter (I am!)

It just feel so unfair to me.

slatternlymother Mon 04-Jun-12 14:23:11

crispy yes, I have seen programmes encouraging people to take up beekeeping.

Honestly, if I was so inclined to keep something like that I really would at least let my neighbours around me know of my intentions first!

DamnBamboo Mon 04-Jun-12 14:24:12

Just tell them your DH has allergies and so does DS and that if they are going to be disturbing the bees could they give you advance warning out of courtesty!

yellowraincoat Mon 04-Jun-12 14:24:50

That is very unfair of them, I agree. They should definitely have asked.

Probably not much you can do, but you have my sympathy.

Corgito Mon 04-Jun-12 14:28:14

YANBU... We have a similar stupid idiot in the area (thankfully now moving house) and their bees have made lives miserable for several neighbours. One has been stung multiple times. My only tip is, if the swarm settles in your garden, call your local Beekeeper Association 'Swarm Hotline' and get them to relocate the bees to a woodland setting.

slatternlymother Mon 04-Jun-12 14:28:16

Thank you all for agreeing with me, at least! I feel vindicated now and that makes me feel a little better smile

theincredibequeenofwands Mon 04-Jun-12 14:28:53

Buy some fly/wasp killer.

They come in your garden/house, you spray them.

Sounds harsh, but if your DH has an allergy and your child is only small then I can't see what choice you have.


MousyMouse Mon 04-Jun-12 14:29:10

yanbu to be angry with the poor management of the hive(s).
bees properly kept shouldn't be a problem for the neighbours.

my father keeps bees in his urban garden, they are between two hedges so have to fly up and don't fly low to the ground which might disturb some neighbours. also at this time of year they need to be tended to regularly to prevent swarming.

I have never been stung by bees despite them living at the back of our garden all our childhood, if properly tended to and queen carefully chosen for docileness it shouldn't be a problem.

it seems to me that your neighbour is a newbee <see what I did there! who needs better training/guidance with his bees.

slatternlymother Mon 04-Jun-12 14:29:28

Oh thank you corgito, I will note that down for future reference.

MarquiseOfMelburnia Mon 04-Jun-12 14:30:03

Keeping bees on a larger property, perhaps, but it sounds a bit mad if you're in moderate quarters with others' back gardens?! I wouldn't be happy about it at all to be honest.

greenplastictrees Mon 04-Jun-12 14:31:29

As they can keep them if they want (ie no law saying they can't/council rules), I'd be inclined to go round and have a word. Explain that you understand they want to keep them but you are concerned as your DH has an allergy and you are also concerned about DS (you could phrase this as you don't know if he had an allergy or not and it may run in the family). Therefore, is there a set time of day they go to do whatever it is they do to them and if not, could they warn you before doing it so that you can make sure your doors and windows are closed and stay inside.

I don't think that's an unreasonable request at all - you aren't asking them to get rid but you are just asking them to work with you on making it easier to live with.

Corgito Mon 04-Jun-12 14:32:59

The inept beekeeper in my (suburban) area has a lovely long garden so her hives are far, far away from her house, up against the fence. However, the gardens backing on are much shorter. So the bees are not a problem for her, just everyone else... hmm. Last time they swarmed she'd buggered off on holiday. Nice. I'm a gardener and I plant lavender and buddleia and other bee-friendly plants. Not anti-bee. But the swarming process is really unnerving, even if you aren't allergic to bees.

catsrus Mon 04-Jun-12 14:34:26

I've done a beekeeping course (not got any yet - fancy sending the swarm this way?)

Swarming bees don't sting and they are not angry - so if they are actually swarming then you are fine, a swarm is when a group of the bees basically take off to find a new home - the colony splits in 2.

If it's not a swarm and they are 2 gardens down you are no more at risk from them than if they were a mile away to be honest, you are at most risk when you are close to the hive and stand in the flight path. The bees you are seeing now will be from all over your area and will be out if the sun is out looking for nectar. When you open a hive to check it, get honey etc the bees stay very close to the hive to protect it - they don't go off into other gardens!

If you make your garden bee-unfriendly (no flowers) then it's not likely you will get many bees in it (and that includes all the dozens of kinds of bees that are not honey bees and are not kept in hives), your neighbours bees will be flying miles to get nectar, which is normal. The reality is that your DH simply needs to keep taking the same precautions he's always taken, he is no more at risk now than he ever was.

MousyMouse Mon 04-Jun-12 14:38:06

there is a difference between swarming bees and disturbed ones.

swarming bees are looking for a new place for form a hive and are very pre-occupied. they won't sting (unless you step on them or the get into your hair). it's pretty easy to see because you get that great big 'grape-bundle' of bees.

disturbed ones (now is time for the first honey harvest, I would think) are very different. smaller numbers of bees flying noisily back and forth looking for their honey and very agressive. would avoid running humming garden tools to avoid being attacked. and it would be fair of the neighbours to warn you when they plan to harvest so you can stay indoors if it is too much.

DanyTargaryen Mon 04-Jun-12 14:39:29

I think I'd cry if someone took up beekeeping near me! I have never been stung by one but I have got a massively irrational phobia or both bees and wasps. Stick note through their door saying you are worried because your husband is massively allergic and could have a very severe reaction if one of them stings him.

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