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A question for Matt Reed and David Heaf.

 
Katrin Kerns
Posts: 126
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I read an article several years ago about inter urban beekeeping. I'm sorry to say that I don't recall the name of the magazine at this time but I had a question about your style of beehives in relation to inter urban beekeeping. The article talked about a resurgence of beekeeping that was catching on with rooftop gardeners and folks with small yards who actually lived in city limits instead of out in the country, and I was wondering if the Warre hive style would be more or less effective in an inter urban environment or if it would make any difference at all? I'm not a beekeeper at this time but have considered it as a possible means of both helping out the local environment and helping out financially with my own life (i.e. selling the honey). Though I do not think that my current residence would be good for bees as I live too close to a public swimming pool (it's literally down under my balcony) and I would be concerned with the bees using it as a water source. I'm not sure how healthy chlorinated water would be for bees but I can't see it as being very good for them.

Thanks much,

Kat
 
Matthew Reed
instructor
Posts: 8
Location: Portland, OR
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Kat,

Most of our customers are backyard beekeepers. Some with large acreages, others with only their rooftop or balcony. The bees don't seem to care either way. In fact, bees tend to do much better in urban city environments than in rural areas (especially those with monoculture). However, the bees won't ask your permission before they use the swimming pool or your neighbor's bird bath as a water source. You can try putting out some of your own water sources in hopes that they'll use them, but it's often fruitless. Aside from water, honey bees want to reproduce. For honey bees, this means swarming, and the swarm will land wherever it wants, though usually on a tree branch. This is the the time of trial for the urban beekeeper and their neighbors, should the swarm land on their property. Be sure to check with your neighbors and at least let them know that you're planning to get honey bees. In some cities (like Portland) there are regulations that require one to get approval from neighbors, etc.

When they aren't swarming or drinking water in less than ideal places, honey bees generally go about their business unnoticed by surrounding neighbors. I've got anywhere from 3-15 colonies in my backyard and it is only this time of year (swarm season) where my neighbors receive my bees uninvited.

Best,
Matt
 
Katrin Kerns
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Matthew, thank you so much for your response.

It gives me a lot to think about. Could you tell me just how bad pool water is for bees? Maybe there could be a solution to the issue of them visiting the apartment swimming pool for water. I will have to look around and asses if I would even be allowed to try and keep bees in my neighborhood. I know that there are a lot of people who would most likely freak out if they saw a swarm hanging out nearby and they might demand that the property managers spray or try to get rid of them in some other way. Also you brought up something that I didn't even think about, city ordnance's. I haven't even checked to see if there are any regulations about bee keeping in my area. I think I will have to reassess the issue very carefully. Though I have to admit, I like what I've been reading about Warre hives as apposed to the other two types of bee hive. I'm the type of person that would like to keep things as close to natural as possible for the bees.

Kat
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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