Can I Keep Bees in the Suburbs?

The best answer I've ever heard, is quoted from George Styer, a beekeeper in Sacramento, with his kind permission:

   To me it is impractical to have a hive if the available space is too small for the physical dimensions of the hive plus some room to work around it, so I would say no to a yard any smaller than say 10 sq ft. My point is that even most apartment balconies are suitable. I have 2 hives on a 30 x 40 ft lot with neighbors on both sides and in the rear, so your lot is looking pretty farm-like to me. As long as you act responsibly, you should have no problems. Some ideas:

1. Don't try to conceal your activity from your neighbors. You have nothing to hide and they nothing to fear.

2. Educate them so they understand the benefit to them and their garden.

3. Share some honey with them.

4. Plan a flight path using plants, fences etc. so they are well above humans when they leave your garden.

5. Maintain a good temperament and requeen if they start to get aggressive.

6. Don't let them swarm.

7. Provide a water source for your bees.

8. Provide a water source for your bees.

9. Provide a water source for your bees.

10. Provide a water source for your bees.

I think you get the point. If your neighbor drinks lots of Bass ale and hangs out in the sunroom in the buff then all bets are off. Act irresponsibly and hope he moves.

Geo    Sacramento, in California's great Central Valley 

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