Qualifying location for having a Hive At Your Home requirements:
1: Own or have permission to have a hive for the year.
2: Town ordinances allow bees (most all do.)
3: 10′ or more from property line. Front of hive best to SE, no heavy trafficked area in front of hive.
4: Access. If I can’t come by to maintain then it can’t be there. That means I can’t drive or park within distance, or your not home and the gate is locked or there is a dog guarding it, etc.
5: Only area available floods. Hives should be put where they can wash away.
6: Entrance to (preferable SE) doesn’t immediately point to heavily used area of neighbor within 20′ unless you have fence or hedge that makes bees fly above 6′
7. Spraying. You can’t spray pesticides. I know you can’t control neighbors, but if you spray near the hive you kill the bees. Also if in a rural area placement should not be on the downwind side of an adjacent parcel that sprays a crop plot. The bees travel 5 miles out so they will run into problems in this world, but the hives themselves cannot be placed where they themselves will be subjugated to poison.
8: Catchall. Although we can make most everywhere (tiny city courtyard with walls, woods (prefer sun), etc.) work, I will reserve the right to disqualify a location. I doubt it but if it won’t work for some mysterious reason it would be a hassle for me and you to deal with something that wouldn’t work. If you have a concern ask and we will work it through.
How do bees interact with neighbors and with me?
Bees forage over a 5 mile radius so as far as any issue with the bees foraging there won’t be any noticeable difference to anyone.
Where there are usually issues are:
1: People being at the immediate entrance of the hive up to a ten foot radius in front as approaching right up to the entrance both blocks them and also alerts them to think you are interested in the hive (approach up to the hive from any other side.) The entrance does best to the south-southeast.
2: The bees do pick a flight path that they use to approach the hive. If this flight path intersects with a heavily used walkway the bees might run into you or a neighbor at distances further than 10 feet. They most likely won’t be aggressive but a neighbor may not want bees running into them all the time or peeing on them. To help avoid this, if there is a fence or hedge or something 10′ or more out from the hive entrance that would make them climb to above 6′ from the ground they won’t dip back down and will fly over anyone past the hedge or what have you.
3: Swimming pools are attractive to bees as they need a water source and chlorine attracts them. Some die in the pool as there isn’t anything to land on and sip from then people see them. If a water source is provided from the start before pool season the bees will be used to this water and that will help. It must always be available or they will look elsewhere. a pail or bin or pond or tub, best with either sloped sides or just throw something (sticks) in for them to land on or running water, a slow drip or a water feature.
4: People seeing hives. For the most part the bees themselves are not of a concern, its mostly the perception of bees. Yes people have seen hives years after they were placed and suddenly its a concern although they couldn’t tell previously there had been bees. The solution is two choices. I will provide resources to allow you to know more about bees and you can talk to neighbors preemptively. Second route is the hives are 2″ rough cut lumber, non-painted*, they don’t look like white Langstroth hives and unless they get close enough to see bees going in, the overwhelming odds are not only will no one will be negatively affected, but no-one will be able to tell you have bees.
Hive-At-Your-Home maintained hives in 2013 and beyond
For adopted hives a year later, 2013 – I will attempt to find sponsors, plan is all hives will stay there “permanently”.
2013 Bee-Havers have 3 scenarios:
1: Love those bees – renews for another year (reduced rate);
2: Really love bees or can’t continue the love – it was so great that they want to get into beekeeping with their own bees or alternatively decides either bees aren’t/can’t be for them again. I move the hive, unless there is an actual issue that is unforeseeable, I want to move the hive either late October or in April. Hive moving isn’t exactly super easy but is built into the plan of this business;
3: Really loves those bees and the hive – Decides beekeeping is for them and wants this hive for themselves to maintain. I sell you the hive, price not yet set sorry.
Can I choose the adopted hive location?
E-mail me your preferred location if you have one and on a first come basis that will be work out and I’ll e-mail you back. If you aren’t super picky that lets me fill in the needy places.
Can I paint the hive brought to my home? What does the hive look like?
The hives are thick rough-cut lumber that is unpainted. This to many has a great aesthetic and makes them not jump out. Some people want their hive to stand out, so yes you can paint. I show up in Spring and put bees in 2 boxes, these can’t be painted now. I can also leave 4 empty boxes that will be used later this year for you to paint the OUTSIDE. Eventually the 2 on there can be replaced with painted boxes too. This approach is the opposite of the hidden lumber not looking like a hive approach, it is the these are ours and we love them. I personally think both can be nice to look at.
The alternative hive design of this “Weeks Hive” is a vertical box hive like the common Langstroth or the traditional Warre hives. It utilizes top bar frames similar to those found in a Warre, but used within every box to provide inspectability. The hives boxes are 14.75″ square and 10″ tall, they are about half the volume of a big Langstroth box and so I’ve been told they look “cute”. To start the hives will sit on cinder blocks (or in rural bear country pallets,) there is a bottom with an entrance, then two of these rough wood boxes for the bees, then insulation and a box with a feeder in it (new packages of bees need to be fed, after that I leave honey) then it is ratchet strapped down to the cinder blocks/pallet and a 15″ square tile provides a roof and weight. Eventually more boxes will be added that will make the hive taller throughout the year, then later boxes are taken at the top for honey while a box is added bellow and the hive will stabilize at ~5 boxes high (so the hive & base will get to be 5′ tall, 14.75″ square.)
Can I purchase honey?
Normally honey will be marketed in two ways, either local markets or clients with hives have the right to purchase the hives honey at 50% retail. I won’t normally make honey available over the internet.
Adopt-A-Hive level funders will be offered half the available honey crop of the hive at 50% off retail. (The location has the right to purchase the other 50% of the honey.)
Retail prices for treatment free raw honey kept separate by location are indeed higher than the contaminated, potentially not even honey on shelves but I think you will find this delicacy worth it. Currently 4 oz. = $6, 12 oz. = $13, #1 = $17, and #1 comb = $18. (If you can find honey for less that is treatment free and local to this area let me know.) Updates will include where honey becomes available retail.
I look forward to sharing with you how amazing raw treatment-free honey is!
Local honey means getting the local pollens to cure allergies (works same principal as allergy shots but better defined to you,) getting the local flavor of the honey of your neighborhood, and supporting the local businesses. Its hard to get more local than a hive at your home.
Yes I’m serious about treating these bees with nothing but respect. This treatment free approach keeps toxins away from the honey and bees, while local breeding for bees insures long term survival, not putting them on short term life support. If there was real organic standard for US honey they wouldn’t be any good as the draft standard allows you to use all sorts of things that harm the bees long term.
How are hives managed?
I’ll conduct all the upkeep, but if you can be available you can watch and I’ll teach, preach and demonstrate about bees.
An alternative hive design and a modified Warre management approach will be utilized (and further modified for urban settings.) That means tying together reduced maintenance, so that people don’t have to see my mug each week, and better health of the bees versus those techniques utilize on the commercial standard Langstroth hives. What this means is that the hives are setup for the bees, not for people. Construction and management will comply with NH Sec. 429.4 and MA 330 CMR 8.04.
Bees have all sorts of new challenges facing them, giving them a management practice that is not detrimental for no benefit will help give these bees a better chance at survival. As a result this will help me join the community of those breeding bees that don’t require constant life support of a soup of toxins that are used as “treatments”.
I will be crushing comb and straining, or doing cut comb, verses extracting and reusing comb and as a result I will be obtaining less honey per hive. But one important aspect is the yield per surviving hive, dead hives make no honey and selecting this a hive type and management style is better for the long term survival of the hives. The crush and strain method will create a supply of uncontaminated bees wax and the product is a superior RAW honey.
What about urban locations?
Yes urban locations have some challenges, mostly with placement but their definitely a big part of this project. All areas have issues and advantages and urban bees can be less challenging in some respects (pesticides) and more so in others (management to avoid reproducing by swarming.) I’d even do flat roof bees if I could be GUARANTEED access.