Honeybees and Beekeeping

Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: McGiever On: Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:23 am

Here is a place to post discussions of our beloved honeybees all into one thread for better archiving...no pun intended. :)
McGiever
 
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: NJJoe On: Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:20 am

I'd like to know if anyone can comment on the legal aspect and associated risk of keeping bees in today's sue happy society. I would really like to keep a beehive or two in the backyard. What if a kid approaches my hives and gets stung or even someone down the street gets stung? Then they hear I have bees and its downhill from there. or someone with life threatening bee allergies starts making noise about unsafe conditions etc... Thanks.
NJJoe
 

Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: McGiever On: Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:50 am

Not any legal expert, but, Would think a robust fence/barrier will exclude unwited persons from stumbling in too close to the hives.
Even barriers, either manmade or natural, can be situated to abruptly alter the bee's normal flight patterns nearby the hives themselves to raise or angle towards a desired unoffending flight path.

Bee experts have better knowledge of bee behaviors than the preconceived cartoon concepts of the unknowing public. In a court a judge will side with the expert but also reasonable prevention needs to be implemented on the part of the beekeeper.

In another manner of thinking....How is it possible to know, without any doubts, where the offending insect did or does resides?
Exactly, Who's bee was it, anyways?
McGiever
 
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:38 am

Hi,

Yes, individuals have and will sue individuals who raise bees. However, if you are using what’s recognized to be “best management practices” those lawsuits are generally thrown out of court.

Because of this risk, I made sure that my home owner’s insurance policy covers the risk of beekeeping in a suburban environment. My policy covers beekeeping the same as a dog bite. If I’m following “best management practices” they will cover the event, including any legal assistance I require due to a lawsuit.

Had my insurance company not had this policy, I would have gotten a supplemental umbrella policy. They are inexpensive.

The reason most lawsuits over raising bees are thrown out is because there is no way to conclusively prove that it was your bee or bees that committed the act be it a sting or a swarm settling in the walls of your neighbors’ house.

What are “best management practices?” In my county that means I can have no more than 4 hives in my 1/4 acre yard and the hives have to be at least 20ft from the property line. It’s also recommended that I have a 6ft privacy fence or hedge on the property line.

The fence/hedge forces the bees to fly up and over the neighbor’s yard. Once the bees are away from your apiary the risk of anyone being stung by one of your bees is the same as being stung by any random insect.

“Best management practices” also means I’m a beekeeper not a “bee haver.” I’m attending beekeeper meetings and staying informed. I’m actually managing my bees so they don’t become a nuisance in the neighborhood. Hives will swarm but are you doing what you can to prevent it or keep it in your yard.

All that being said it is a real pain in the butt to have to go through the process of clearing your beekeeping operations through the courts. Using “best management practices” greatly reduces the odds of being sued.

Coincidently, last year West Va became the first state to pass the first bill in the nation granting beekeepers immunity from civil liability. Here in VA the state bee association is working with the state legislature to pass a similar bill. With the growth of backyard beekeeping I think you’ll see more states passing such laws.

Take care, Lisa
lowfog01
 
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:24 pm

How does having bees raise your homeowner's insurance rates?
davidmcbeth3
 
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:41 pm

davidmcbeth3 wrote:How does having bees raise your homeowner's insurance rates?

It won't unless you have a commercial exposure according to my resident agent. :)
coaledsweat
 
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:16 pm

coaledsweat wrote:
davidmcbeth3 wrote:How does having bees raise your homeowner's insurance rates?

It won't unless you have a commercial exposure according to my resident agent. :)


That mean if you sell the honey onsite?
davidmcbeth3
 
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:37 pm

davidmcbeth3 wrote:How does having bees raise your homeowner's insurance rates?


My home owner rates hasn't gone up since I told them about the bees. Once I had a claim over a dog bite and was told if I had a second one with the same dog, I would be dropped. I guess the same thing would be true of a bee incident depending on how it was litigated.

I've heard it said at the monthly beekeepers' meeting that some of the beekeepers who sell honey and other hive products get an agricultural insurance for the bee operations that is separate from their home owners insurance. I don't produce enough hive products to sell so I've never looked into it personally. Lisa
lowfog01
 
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:36 pm

Great idea! I will be joining the ranks if a swarm comes my way....and if not, I will buy some bees next spring.
I was hoping to at least get a swarm to draw out my new frames, even if they cannot survive the winter.

Kevin
KLook
 
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: McGiever On: Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:54 pm

One way how to get that honey out of the comb fast and cheap:

McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: KLook On: Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:52 pm

Nice there. I lost a Dadant stainless steel centrifuge, can't remember how many frames, in my 08 fire. Still have some of the filters and but that is about all. All I know is it worked really well. replacement is a about $600? Hope the beekeepers association I have joined will have someone that will do it for me.

Kevin
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: McGiever On: Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:03 am

Well, before this new topic here was started I had described to *Lowfog* (Lisa) some uses of the "doublescreen" and replacing undesirable or failing queens over at "Freddy's Coffee House".
Shortly thereafter I became suspicious of a queen trouble in one particular hive of my own and upon further inspection inside the hive, my suspicions were confirmed...queen was failing and just a few drone larva were seen present. Drone laying is sign of a queen that has no longer any sperm from her original mating ventures or worse, a laying worker. (unfertilized egg always becomes a drone or male bee)
So, in went a doublescreen splitting the brood area into two halves and then after a couple of days later a "standby or banked queen" which I had prepared/made previously just in case of a chance of needing a known good desirable queen and will be used now in order to save this doomed hive. This young new already laying queen along with her accompaning 4 frames of brood, pollen and honey gets placed into the queenless division side of the d.s.
After several days of acclimation of the two colonies together into one separated physically by only the d.s., and after the undesirable queen has been found and squashed or proven to be absent due to lack of her egg-laying in her side of d.s. the d.s. can then come out to merge the split back into one hive with a great new queen.
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:39 am

McGiever wrote:One way how to get that honey out of the comb fast and cheap:



Don't the bees get dizzy?
davidmcbeth3
 
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: McGiever On: Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:27 pm

davidmcbeth3 wrote:
McGiever wrote:One way how to get that honey out of the comb fast and cheap:



Don't the bees get dizzy?


Someone is dizzy here, for sure. ;)
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
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Re: Honeybees and Beekeeping

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:24 am

Hi everyone,

Just to update everyone on the bees I did my fall Varroa Mite testing. The Lang hive had 1 mite per 1 cup or 300 bees. This is a very low mite count and indicates the hive has a high tolerance for the mites and is co-existing with them to the point I don't need to use chemicals or other treatments to insure the colony's survival. I'll continue to monitor it but it appears that these are "survivor" bees and those are the ones we want.

The two Top Bar hives had higher mite counts - 7 or 8 mites per 1 cup of bees. 9 is the threshold for treatment so I decided to treat the hives with a natural method. I instigated a break in the brood cycle by placing the queen in a "queen catcher" clip in the hive. This catcher allows the girls into to attend to her majesty but does not allow her to get out and lay eggs. The mites use the cells with eggs to hide in to breed; no eggs, no new mites. The girls will not attempt to start a new queen because the old one is still giving off pheromones , just not laying - so the theory goes.

Now I wait 25 days (one complete cycle of bee brood) - all the existing brood will hatch by then and any mites in the cells will cling to the exiting bees. They will be eliminated by the bees through grooming. These mites fall through the screened bottom board and die. Before I release the queen, I'll do what is know as a powder sugar treatment to remove any remaining mites. I use a shaker or puff container to cover the bees with a fine coat of powder sugar which increases the grooming activities and causes the mites to fall out of the hive. That should greatly reduce the numbers of mites in the hive and leave me with healthier bees going into the winter.

My schedule is to release the queen on Sept 3rd and 4th. The eggs she lays between then and the end of November will be the bees that will raise the bees in the spring. That's why I need to make sure they are healthy and strong in numbers.

Hopefully, I'm a head of the game but no matter what I do I need to remember, bees die. It happens.

Take care, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
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