Keeping Bees In Suburban Area

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by BeeNut, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. BeeNut

    BeeNut New Member

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    Hi,I'm Jonathan and am very new to this. I live in South Eastern Florida, and it can get pretty hot down here. I really want to do beekeeping, but I am worried that I might not have enough space. I went to my local library and looked up in Code/Ordinances for pests, pets, nature, etc. It said nothing about keeping any type of "insect" or apiary. The only thing that Code said was for pest disposal and killing of hornets nests and things like that. But, if I were to keep bees, they would be on my property. I just wanted to know the minimum amount of space for beekeeping. Also, about mowing the lawn, would the bees attack me? :lol: .
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Look under livestock and beekeeping.
    In NC, the setback is 25 feet in most cities that I have heard about. Outside the city limits, there are no rules. Florida and individual cities may vary.
    Bees do not like gasoline or diesel engines. Suit up before mowing.

    Also, hang around here and ask a lot of questions. There is much to know when it comes to beekeeping. I've been at it for 30 plus years and feel like a first grader.
     

  3. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Get some books too. There are a number of beginner bee books. Do a cyber search or maybe some folks here will recommend some to you. It's been a while since I began and I haven't read any new books lately. And like iddee said, stick around here and pick our brains.

    I would recommend not going to your town council for advice or permission. Forgiveness is easier to get than permission. There are ways to look up city ordinances on livestock, but you may not find any one honeybees, because there might not be any. But, if you go to the city or town council asking about them, they will probably make some against beekeeping.

    Some people keep bees on their apartment balcony. Do you have more room than that? Yes, if you mow the grass they will defend their hive by stinging. You can do something about that though. Like brand new tight equipment and facing the hive away from the yard. Or other things. But it is early yet to be learning about that.

    Take your time. Get into someones bee hives w/ them. Find out how you like handling bees before you buy them. If you get the bee bug you will know it. You'll have to have bees. It is a personal thing. Some say an addiction. Or an obsetion. (how do you spell that word?)

    Good luck. Have fun.
     
  4. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Check your local library for books/videos. There are also some excellent websites. Two suggestions:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

    http://www.honeybeesonline.com/lessons.html

    Absolutely. Find a local bee club:
    http://apisenterprises.com/fsba/fsbalocal.htm
    Clubs are great places to find mentors and get connected to nearby beekeepers. Clubs often have beginning beekeeping classes, and nearly always have plenty of beekeepers willing to help newbees.
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I live on a 1/3 acre lot on the outskirts of my village. I do have neighbors on all sides.
    Do you have a property fence or a line of trees on some side that separate your yard from the neighbor? that might be a good 'wall' to put a hive in front of. If you buy some bamboo rolled fencing you can add some side barriers which will help hide your bees a bit and also make the bees rise up high over the fencing on thier flight path- thus further avoiding going into the neighbors' yards. Such fencing can be bought on Amazon or garden supply places and comes in various heights- 6' is a good hieght for this purpose. Psychologically, 'out of sight, out of mind'. Plant some tall bushes or vines on a trellis to help block the view of the hive from your neighbors. Pain your hive boxes a neutral color, not bright and not white. One of mine is painted the same green as the spruce trees behind it.

    If you immediate neighbors have pools the bees may decide they like to drink there....hundreds of them at a time. this can be a real problem. Do a search on "honeybees +pool" .

    You might start with a small 8 frame 'garden hive' to keep your hobby discreet for the first year and see how it goes.
     
  6. BeeNut

    BeeNut New Member

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    Thnx Guys!

    I don't know if It would be safe, but maybe I could take some pictures of our backyard to see how much room I have available for beekeeping? I don't live in an apartment, so I think I would have enough space for something?
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    rather than listing a place like 'south florida' why not at least state what county in Florida you are located. someone like Rast (he operates out of central Florida) should then be able to direct you to a bee club in your general area which should then be able to tell you of ordinances in the various towns in your area.

    having kept bees in or about the central Florida ridge area (Plant City) I can tell you that some places in Florida are much more desirable areas for keeping bees than others. some areas are totally unsuitable for maintaining a hive over any reasonable period of time.
     
  8. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    BeeNut, I keep bees in a subdivision in TN... We set our home hives back about 20 to 25' from property lines and about 3 to 5' from our front door. There are about 16 kids in the neighborhood, and 3 unnetted outdoor swimming pools. I haven't had a problem with the neighbors yet... one of them did get stung once though... when I had them all torn apart and was fixing a broken bottom board. But they've never complained about it, so I gave 'em a jar of honey anyway. Anyhow, the bees will forage from wherever they have to within a few miles, so I wouldn't worry about how little space you have. If, like in most areas in S. Florida there are lots of people with swimming pools around you, I would make sure to put out your own water for the bees... add in some trace minerals from a animal salt lick w/ trace minerals and they'll prefer your water to the neighbor's pools. If you only have a couple of hives, get the salt lick from a pet store, they're like $5 in the small animal/rabbit section... if you have a lot of hives and need to provide a lot of water, you can get big salt licks made for big game at the farmer's co-op for around $35, just make sure you get the one with added trace minerals.

    The biggest thing for you is to make sure you buy marked queens from a queen supplier and replace them anytime you see one has been superceeded because any queen that mates in your area will be mating with a whole lot of africanized drones.
     
  9. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    I have made anonymous phone calls to the Code/Ordinance department down at city hall for all kinds of things, beekeeping included. I checked with all my neighbors before establishing a colony in my back yard. Everyone was ok with the idea except for one family that has a hot tub. They were concerned, but agreed. They forage all over the neighborhood and I have never had a complaint from a neighbor. I also have a neighbor that entertains in his back yard. His volleyball net and horseshoes are with in 20 ft of the hive. No problem from the bees. At Christmas, they each get a jar of honey which is a good time to ask if they have had any problems.
    I mow around the hive when they are out foraging. Usually the middle of the day. We learned the hard way to mow before harvesting. They are pretty testy right have you have stolen their honey.
    A caveat: some people keep bees on rooftops. They size of your yard shouldn't be the only issue. They will forage with in a two mile radius.
     
  10. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    I mow a round our 39 hives here at home all the time. A few things to keep in mind is do not allow the exhust to blow into their hive. You would not like the fumes blowen in your home either. Mow in front of the hives before getting sweat soaked as they do like the minerals and will follow you to get it.

    If your paying $35.00 for those big salt blocks send me a list of what you want in yours and I'll ship to you for $30.00 each and make money.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  11. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Heck I will deliver, you can buy the trace mineral in 50 pound blocks for 5 to 6 dollars each with no tax since it is ag feed.
     
  12. rast

    rast New Member

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    Hey Jonathan, welcome.
    Go here, find your inspector.
    http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/plantin ... p_map.html
    Call your local inspector ask him about your area. Don't be bashful about it, that's what he's for and all that I've met were real nice and helpful (except for their Boss).
    Do expect some info on AHB, it's very real here and worse in the south, but we can deal with it. My inspector is coming to pull a sample from one of my hives that I want tested. As the others have said read, read, read.
     
  13. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    I can't speak for indiividual counties in Florida, but here in clay county, require that:
    1. 25 foot from any properity line
    2. fencing that is opaque or can't be seen through like stockade or vinyl fencing and be 6 foot or higher.
    3. of course the area your in must be zoned for agricultrial usages.
    4. no more then 2 colonies in that area.
    5. register your hives with Florida State Department of Agriculture, State Beekeeping division--state inspectors will be checking your bees.
     
  14. BeeNut

    BeeNut New Member

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    Thanks Guys so much! I live in Broward County, so I don't know the rules for the county, but I did look at the ordinances for my city. I have one book that I checked out at my library, but I'm gonna need to read more than just 1! :shock:

    Jonathan