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Beekeeping when done right can be an exciting and rewarding hobby and source of income. Before getting into this hobby that is all the buzz, you'll need to be prepared. This community can give a newbie all the tools to get started or can be a great place for seasoned pros to come and find great resources and information.
 
See why our beekeeping community is always buzzing!


Beekeeping Information, Supplies and More
Find Beekeeping Information and Supplies as well as Books, Video, DVD’s and more. We offer Organic Bee keeping, Backyard Beekeeping, Hives and Equipment. Learn Practical Beekeeping and even Buy ...

All About Beekeeping
Find Beekeeping Information and Supplies. We've got Books, Video, DVD’s and more! Anything from Organic Bee keeping and Backyard Beekeeping to Hives and Equipment. Learn Practical Beekeeping. Buy ...

Backyard Beekeeping Has Become All the Buzz
 

Backyard beekeeping is a great hobby and way to make money...as long as your neighbors don't get stung!

Seriously, that’s the biggest concern of the folks living near backyard beekeepers, that their busy little charges are going to attack the neighbors. Fortunately there are plenty ways of keeping both bees and neighbors safe from one another.

The first step to backyard beekeeping is to install a six-foot-high fence, or have a home with a hedge border at least six feet high. This fence or shrubbery Barrier serves several functions:

•    The barrier forces the bees’ flight path above people's heads. Bees normally travel in a straight line – hence the term “beeline” -- to their hive, and a fence raises their flight path over everyone's head. A fence reduces the chance that a bee will accidentally collide with someone walking nearby.
•    The barrier creates an "out of sight - out of mind" situation. Some folks may have a bee in their bonnet about the keeper’s little friends, and a fence hides most evidence that managed bees are in the neighborhood.
•    The barrier provides wind protection to the hives.

Next, provide plenty of water for the bees. Honeybees need to collect water, especially in early spring and during summer heat, but they can be fussy about where they get it. They love small ponds and creeks, but if such sources aren’t nearby, bees may drink from the dog’s bowl or a neighbor’s swimming pool. Keeping fresh water on hand discourages bees from visiting the folks next door, but put the water source at least 20 feet from the hive.

Two proven ways to provide water for managed bees are:
•    Start a small water garden in a half-whiskey barrel with floating plants. Bees love well-aged water!
•    Use a dripping faucet, with the drips falling on to a wooden board. The dripping faucet is harder to manage, since it must be available at all times when bees are flying so they do not develop a habit of going elsewhere.
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As for swarms, there’s no foolproof method to keep the little critters from swarming. However, experienced beekeepers report that – again unlike the movies – swarms are usually gentle, because bees eat a lot of honey before they swarm. In fact, there’s a beekeeper’s saying: “Bees full of honey will not sting.”

Few communities outlaw beekeeping per se, but most have some sort of “nuisance law” intended to control things that people find objectionable, like a barking dog, excess trash or overgrown, noxious weeds. Some communities’ ordinances put limits on beekeeping, such as restricting the number of hives or requiring the beekeeper to have water for the bees at all times. Prospective beekeepers should learn about their community’s legal restrictions before they invest in bees and hive.

Beekeepers know that as long as there are plants that produce pollen and nectar, there will be bees. One good way to make sure local bees are domesticated and not wild varieties is to do a good job of keeping bees from annoying the neighbors. Of course, a jar or two of honey can help sweeten relationships as well!




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