Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Two years ago I decided that I could no longer stand my backyard. Katie (my wife) had two Black Labrador Retrievers that had destroyed our backyard to the point we couldn't go out there. I decided to replace the fencing, build a nice deck, install a dog run and have sod put down in an attempt to reclaim our yard. I spent most of the Summer working on this project and putting the finishing touches on my new "kingdom". The dogs took to their new space and it kept them from digging up the sod and "depositing" any surprises on my new grass. As fate would have it our 14 year old Lab, Bogie had to be put to sleep soon after. That left Diesel all alone in the backyard and he immediately became depressed. Katie found Diesel a new home out at the farm where she rides. I now had a brand new, barely used dog run.....and no dogs ! ! !

From the pictures I've previously posted, you can clearly see that I live "in the city". The edge of the dog run is about 60' from the deck on the back of the house. The hives are located an additional 12' from the fence and most are pointed away from the house towards the property line. The one exception is the hive (far right) installed from a package in June. I like to watch the bees in this colony and this helps me keep a close eye on them. I've installed a green mesh cloth on the fence that runs along the property line. On the back side of the property line is an area about 10'-12' deep that is full of bushes, trees and a storage building. This helps get the flight path of the bees above the head of anyone who may be outside. All in all, I feel that I have a safe barrier between the hives and any unsuspecting persons. I did take the opportunity to explain to the neighbors that I have honeybee hives and not to worry. I educated them about the Do's & Dont's and they are quite curious about my new hobby. They can't wait to get some honey!

I'm constantly evaluating the amount of bee traffic in/out of the hives, location and the risk vs. reward of having this in my backyard. I don't plan on adding any more hives......4 is definitely my maximum capacity. I've decided to shift all 4 hives to the left and push them back between the two big Oak trees. I cut my grass about once a week and have never had a problem with the bees becoming angry at the mower or my presence. The first time I cut the grass was about an hour after I installed the packaged bees. I thought for sure that I was asking for trouble, but they seem to totally ignore the mower and anyone who's in the backyard. We'll see if that changes! I guess I'll be the first to know

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