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Author Topic: Bees and children  (Read 489 times)

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Lexeter

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Bees and children
« on: February 19, 2017, 21:09 »
Hi All,

Hoping for some collective wisdom on bees and kids being in close proximity.

We have just moved to a new allotment site after having a plot for 5 years on a different site. In between seasons we managed to pop out a baby! One of the reasons we moved sites (but main one being proximity to house) was that our previous site was pretty wild and there had been repeated adder sitings on the plot. Although that's great, it's really important to us that we can take our little boy to the plot with us. Normally he loves having a roll about on a blanket and watching what going on. So, we moved.

And after spending 5 months getting our new plot ready to grow, I met the fella two plots away today who told me all about his bees. His plot is about 10 metres away from ours. I'm aware that this is very unfair and a bit ' not in my back yard' but I'm a bit concerned about taking my son to the plot in the summer. Our bee keeping neighbour seemed like a nice chap, but for various reasons after our conversation I'm not 100% confident that he will be on top of his hive management.
Can anyone offer advice on how we might set up our plot to discourage ( ridiculous I know) too many bees on our plot/ bee lines etc.  There is no fence round his plot, so do you think it would be a good plan to plant a high hedge/ fence on the side next to his to avoid bee lines crossing the plot? We have also constructed a sort of play pen on the plot for our son as he gets older. I have read that bees don't like citrus or mint smells. Should I plant around the play pen with some citrus/ minty herbs? Conversely, I have read that strong smells that bees don't like can cause them to swarm? Also, is it right that pastel coloured clothing is best for not attracting bees?
Thanks for any advice that will aid happy coexistence !


Barry C

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Re: Bees and children
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 21:24 »
I was living with a couple and their small family, that kept bees, for a number of years and shared a small garden with them, the bees that is, without a single problem.
I recall cutting a huge bed of catmint and loading it into the barrow, suddenly finding myself literally covered in bees, again without a single sting.
Last year we had quite a large bees nest, like a huge blister, in the banking alongside our bowling green, again never a problem, used to put a hand on the nest to feel the warmth and buzzing, showing the local schoolchildren and how to put a hand on the nest so they could feel it when they visited on open days.
Never a problem, not one single sting, bees came and went we just left them to it and they tolerated our inquisitiveness.

I think if anyone had prodded and poked around they were asking for trouble, but because we never actually 'disturbed' the bees as such, although we were there, not a problem.

Wasps however .... Totally different ball game !
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 21:33 by Barry C »

Lexeter

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Re: Bees and children
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 21:34 »
Thanks Barry that's good to know. And interesting about the cat mint - I never knew that about bees.

Barry C

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Re: Bees and children
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 21:47 »
Might sound a bit odd, but I think of bees as 'friendly' and wasps, aggressive, been stung quite a few times by wasps, never by a bee  ;)

Lexeter

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Re: Bees and children
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2017, 21:55 »
Yes I agree! I'm aware I sound a bit mad - I like bees, just never been that close to a hive before and just keen that the little one continues to enjoy coming down the plot (although he's had fun today scooping soil up, eating a pinch or two and chasing wood lice ....)
Agree on wasps... I moved fruit bushes today and put a shovel of manure in the hole, only to find tiny wasps crawling their way to surface 5 mins later. Yuk. Hoping it's a lone digger wasp and not a nest ( although I'm sure I'd have known about it if I had stuck my shovel in to a full blown wasp nest in the manure pile..)

Blewit

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Re: Bees and children
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 07:37 »
My lotty friend keeps bees a couple of plots away. Most days they're fine but some days if I talk anywhere near them they attack and sting without provocation. I know a baby won't have a deep mans voice (not normally any way), but once one bee stings the others smell it and try to join in, one time they stung me and as I legged it his jack russel joined in the running about fun and ended up being stung as well.

Lexeter

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Re: Bees and children
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 09:04 »
Thanks blewwit. Do you mean if you talk on your friends plot or on your plot? I guess our son hasn't got a deep new reader voice but he does occasionally have a good shout!
Did you just get used to it or did you try to discourage them in anyway ?

snowdrops

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Re: Bees and children
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2017, 09:12 »
I can understand your concerns, is it a council run site, might be worth voicing your concerns to them. I thought one way to keep bees away from people was to erect a fence around the hive so their flight run is from up high. Perhaps you could put up some sort of barrier on your boundary, debris netting or greenhouse shading would probably be enough, on some stout posts, worth a try & better to be safe than sorry. Also explain to the Bee keeper you concerns & why you are doing it. He's probably never had problems with them stinging so doesn't see the risk

Blewit

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Re: Bees and children
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2017, 14:27 »
Thanks blewwit. Do you mean if you talk on your friends plot or on your plot? I guess our son hasn't got a deep new reader voice but he does occasionally have a good shout!
Did you just get used to it or did you try to discourage them in anyway ?

My friends bees have a 2m debris net deflector round them and they go for me if I'm within about 40 feet of their compound. I haven't done anything about discouraging them, I just try and remember not to talk if the bees seem to be in an inquisitive/pestering mood.

grinling

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Re: Bees and children
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2017, 21:50 »
Might be worthwhile having a chat with the allotment council person.
The allotment I was on had 3 bee keepers. All requires 2 meter high fencing..debris netting was used and also public liability insurance. This may or may not be the rules.
We did have some swarm from time to time but the keepers retrieved them.
Teaching your child not to fear them is good and having a vacant plot covered in flowers would be brill.



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