We’re done with backyard urban beekeeping. Our four Langstroth hives are now living on a farm outside the city where they can swarm and go crazy and do whatever they want and never bother anyone. I miss looking out my window and seeing the bees out there doing their thing. Our next door neighbour — whose back door is about 6 metres (or 20 feet) from the old location of our hives — probably doesn’t miss them at all. That’s the #1 reason we had to move the hives. The bees got too close to our neighbours. Our particular neighbourhood was never an ideal location for keeping bees. More than a few of our neighbours seemed to eye us with suspicion. We always tried to avoid any kind of beekeeping when they were around gawking at us. I’m glad we don’t have to deal with that any more.
I look forward to keeping our bees in a more relaxed environment, but I’m not convinced the bees will do any better out on the farm. The farm is surrounded by a coniferous forest — spruce trees. Our urban location, on the other hand, is loaded with flowering deciduous trees that provide a bonanza of nectar and pollen throughout spring and summer. A greater diversity of flowers grow around the city, too.
When we have more experience and I’m confident we can prevent the bees from swarming into the face of one of our neighbours, we might build a small private enclosure behind our shed and set up a single hive, maybe two, just so we can hang with the bees and have our own personal supply of honey close by.
Until then, we’ll have to do our best as once-a-week beekeepers, if that, getting out to the farm in a borrowed car whenever we can.
The above photo shows how we had to hide the hives behind our shed so they wouldn’t get noticed by local vandals while we secured a location outside the city. I’ll have more to say in a couple weeks when I’m not so busy at work.