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Old 02-14-2012, 02:15 PM   #11
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I suppose the lawyers aren't aware that bees travel 2-3 miles from their hive daily.
Ya, 75 feet, that will make a HUGE difference.
I do believe that people should do whats "right" when its not a big deal, but there is probably much more to the story than the news team is reporting about.
This is exactly what I thought...Is somebody going to tell the bees about this? Do they have an electrical bee fence? On another note...Don't piss off the bee lady. When she starts breeding Africanized killer bees, you will all feel her wrath!! lol
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:21 PM   #12
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I recently fought an urban beekeeping ordinance here. I believe that there is no justification for regulation of urban beekeeping on any scale, except that the keeping of Africanized bees should, of course, be absolutely prohibited.

First, honeybees are not aggressive. Unless you molest them (inadvertently or deliberately) they will not sting you. Doesn't matter whether you're ten feet away from the colony or a mile. They're just not that into you.

As to the risk of accidental stings to the allergic, an allergic person can take steps to avoid any accidental molestation of bees that might result in a defensive sting. They're not going to come around just to play in your yard. They're little pollen, nectar and water gathering robots. Don't plant flowers that attract them. Don't keep a water source that attracts them. Don't walk barefoot in the clover (or eradicate the clover). Carry an Epi-Pen. You face a specific, manageable risk. Manage it.

Policy question. Do we want honeybees in the urban environment or not? Bees are enormously beneficial to many forms of life, including our own, in many direct and indirect ways. One third of our food supply is directly dependent upon pollenation by bees. Their population is collapsing for as yet inscrutable reasons. Do we want to contribute to this collapse by regulating them out of backyards?

On the Africanized bee issue, it's been clearly shown that keeping domesticated, unAfricanized bees inhibits the recruitment of Africanized bees into an area.

The fact that someone is scared of bees doesn't justify regulation. Even a minor nuisance doesn't rise to the level of justifying denying or limiting another's freedom. It's a balance. Urban beekeeping poses no threat or nuisance, in my opinion, that justifies its regulation.

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Old 02-14-2012, 02:48 PM   #13
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I recently fought an urban beekeeping ordinance here. I believe that there is no justification for regulation of urban beekeeping on any scale, except that the keeping of Africanized bees should, of course, be absolutely prohibited.

First, honeybees are not aggressive. Unless you molest them (inadvertently or deliberately) they will not sting you. Doesn't matter whether you're ten feet away from the colony or a mile. They're just not that into you.

As to the risk of accidental stings to the allergic, an allergic person can take steps to avoid any accidental molestation of bees that might result in a defensive sting. They're not going to come around just to play in your yard. They're little pollen, nectar and water gathering robots. Don't plant flowers that attract them. Don't keep a water source that attracts them. Don't walk barefoot in the clover (or eradicate the clover). Carry an Epi-Pen. You face a specific, manageable risk. Manage it.

Policy question. Do we want honeybees in the urban environment or not? Bees are enormously beneficial to many forms of life, including our own, in many direct and indirect ways. One third of our food supply is directly dependent upon pollenation by bees. Their population is collapsing for as yet inscrutable reasons. Do we want to contribute to this collapse by regulating them out of backyards?

On the Africanized bee issue, it's been clearly shown that keeping domesticated, unAfricanized bees inhibits the recruitment of Africanized bees into an area.

The fact that someone is scared of bees doesn't justify regulation. Even a minor nuisance doesn't rise to the level of justifying denying or limiting another's freedom. It's a balance. Urban beekeeping poses no threat or nuisance, in my opinion, that justifies its regulation.
There is so much wrong with this post, I hardly know where to begin!

So for the sake of argument I am highly allergic to bees (I am not). According to you, and your need to have bees in a highly populated area, I will therefore not be able to:
1. Have certain plants in my own yard
2. Not have any sort of water source that may (or may not) attract bees.
3. Walk barefoot through my own yard in case there is clover there.

Yes, I understand that these precautions are going to be somewhat relevant regardless if you keep your bees nearby, but at the same time if you are keeping a hive of any size nearby the risk will go up.

My point is that it is absurd to have any hobby that can negatively impact your neighbors, on their own property.

As for the usefulness of bees, I doubt that anyone is denying their utility, but that does not make it reasonable to put them in highly populated areas.

As for your point that a minor nuisance does not justify denying or limiting another's freedom. I simply cannot agree with this. There are sound ordinances in most communities for this reason. Or in converse, it is a minor nuisance for you to not play music too loud during assumed sleeping hours o please don't inhibit my freedom to a good night of sleep in my own house.

In many aspects this country would be a lot better if we all could start thinking about how our actions effect those around us and not require legislation to improve a community.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:06 PM   #14
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Bees exist. If you're highly allergic, I'm not suggesting you should be prohibited from growing certain flowers, et cetera. I'm saying you probably shouldn't. Whether or not I keep bees. And since you're behaving wisely and taking measures, rationally, to minimize your risk, the minimal risk my bees expose you to is mitigated.

If the threshold for regulation were "any hobby that can negatively impact your neighbors, on their own property" we'd be in trouble.

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Old 02-14-2012, 03:14 PM   #15
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Well one thing is for certain, it is definitely not a Constitutional Right to be allowed to keep bees unless I've failed to notice the mention of it in the Constitution during my multiple readings of the document.

It is therefore up to the legislature/local councils, etc to figure out what works for their respective areas in terms of people looking to keep bees. The laws were recently relaxed here in NYC and apparently bee keeping is becoming popular in Brooklyn of all places. I definitely agree with some restrictions on how bees must be kept in urban/semi-urban environments, but any law created specifically to target one person, as this one seems to have been, is highly suspect even if the regulation passes the "smell test".

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Old 02-14-2012, 03:29 PM   #16
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Bees exist. If you're highly allergic, I'm not suggesting you should be prohibited from growing certain flowers, et cetera. I'm saying you probably shouldn't. Whether or not I keep bees. And since you're behaving wisely and taking measures, rationally, to minimize your risk, the minimal risk my bees expose you to is mitigated.

If the threshold for regulation were "any hobby that can negatively impact your neighbors, on their own property" we'd be in trouble.
Do explain your last part. If you are arguing the connotative associations with 'negatively impact' I would therefore, argue that we ought to pursue a common sense approach. For example: Home brewing causes minimal noise, no physical effect on any neighbor and often is done out of sight to any neighbor. Therefore it is common sense to say that home brewing, as a hobby, does not negatively impact one's neighbors, on their property or off of it.

Back to the bees. I am certainly not an expert but I am relatively certain that bees can move hives at a whim. It is neither common nor uncommon (somewhere in between). As stated I am not an expert on this but I did have a neighbor a few doors down keep bees and have them move to a stack of wood in my yard one summer. They stung my dogs who were simply curious and I asked the lady who kept them to come retrieve them. It was a long process and quite inconvenient.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:58 PM   #17
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I was speaking in general, I wasn't referring to home brewing. Generally, we don't limit people's use of their own property without good reason. If any nuisance, real or perceived, is sufficient we'll be regulated to death.

Bees do move, and they swarm. They do that whether they're domesticated or wild. A beekeeper will be happy to remove bees from your property, though, for free.

It really comes to this, in my opinion. Do we want bees in the urban environment or don't we? If not, we should forget about setbacks from lot lines, et cetera and just outlaw beekeeping. Because, as noted, bees travel up to five miles to forage. What's a 75' setback to 10,000 bees that travel 5 miles? But that's not enough. As I said, bees exist. So if a feral bee colony moves into the hollow of my grapefruit tree, I should be obligated to eradicate it. If it's a nuisance or a menace, it is so whether I have put it there or not, and I should be prohibited from allowing a substantial nuisance or menace on my property. So in addition to not keeping bees, if we're going to be consistent, we should be obligated to eradicate them when we find them, particularly since kept bees are, if anything SAFER than feral.

The thing is, bees are not a menace. Sure, some perceive them to be, but they're not. I'm not willing to give up my freedom to keep bees because someone else doesn't understand.

For the record, I have tens of thousands of bees living in my urban backyard. We, adults, children and dogs, use our yard alot, and nobody has ever been stung by any of them except when I am in the box actively inspecting, and then not often. I inspect my boxes without gloves. Most experienced beekeepers do.

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Old 02-14-2012, 04:09 PM   #18
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Turned on the news this morning and this is one of the top stories:
http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/10724457/
I'm so glad I have given up newspapers and TV news.
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:44 PM   #19
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Bees may travel a long way in search of flowers, but the concentration is going to be higher near the hive for the simple reason that every bee will return there. I haven't spent much time near bee hives, but of the ones I've seen, there were significantly more bees buzzing around near to the hives than there were a fairly short distance away. I don't know whether 75 feet is a carefully reasoned distance, but it seems fairly reasonable in terms of putting the neighbor's property out of that concentrated area.

Bees are great, bees are important, and I'm glad that people have an interest in keeping them. However, a hive will significantly increase the number of bees in its immediate area, and it's not outrageous to respect that someone may not want such a feature immediately next to their property.

And.. Constitutional right? No, decidedly not. This is clearly in the realm of local and state regulation (except perhaps where it impacts interstate commerce...).

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Old 02-14-2012, 05:03 PM   #20
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Well one thing is for certain, it is definitely not a Constitutional Right to be allowed to keep bees unless I've failed to notice the mention of it in the Constitution during my multiple readings of the document.
I also could not recall anything in the Constitution and its various amendments addressing the keeping of bees. I was so confused that I had to, once again, review this important document and was flabbergasted when I realized that our founding fathers and successive generations failed to provide for this important task, so VITAL to the building of a free nation!!

...and it only took 15 posts for someone to bring this up!
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