Dear neighbors

25 Feb

Here’s the letter I left my neighbors last night regarding my upcoming insect invasion:

Dearest neighbor!

I’m thinking of inviting 10,000 of the world’s best pollinators to live in my backyard this summer. They’re quiet, docile, and oh, did I mention they produce honey?

I’d like to start a beehive. But before I do, let’s talk.

Do you have questions or concerns about bees? Is there anything you want to alert me to before I start a hive?

Of course, you’re always welcome to come and see them. In the meantime, here’s some information about how it all works.

Here’s the kind of hive I’m using:

Top Bar hive

[Rendering by Top Bar Bees]

Here’s the process of caring for the bees:

  1. Look at them.
  2. Provide water.
  3. Once a week or so, check on them.

And that’s it! There’s no unsightly or noisy equipment. There’s no cages or chemicals.

Every now and then you may see me with a smoker, which looks like this:

Bee smoker

I’ll use it to add woodsmoke to the hive before I open it. Woodsmoke makes the bees docile enough that I can handle their combs with bare hands.

Once a year in the Fall, I’ll harvest some honey. Not much, since I’ll only have 1 hive, but here’s hoping there’s enough to share ;-)

Questions? Concerns? I’d love to talk with you about honeybees.

Mistress Beek

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2 Responses to “Dear neighbors”

  1. JR February 15, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    What response did you get from the neighbors? I admit that fear of the neighbor reaction is my biggest impediment to keeping bees (or chickens).

  2. Chantal February 15, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    You know, my neighbors have been incredibly supportive. It’s a learning experience for all of us, but they’ve been open-minded and even appreciative. It helps to invite them over to see the hives so as to quell any fears or misconceptions.

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