“Be prepared.” If I retained anything from being a Girl Scout, it was this motto. I’ve been known to keep snacks in my purse for just in case… for other people.
So I’ve been brushing up: reading the bee books + blogs, watching TED talks, and will soon attend bee school. But I can only prep so much, right? This article from Mother Earth News reminded me of a few things I hadn’t thought of yet. Mainly, bee poop.
Here’s a simplified version of this article:
Location:Where will the colonies go? Backyard, roof, balcony, maybe a community apiary, someone else’s property? The cardinal rule for bees and people is: out of sight, out of mind. Consider painting them a color that blends your boxes in with the surroundings.
Your neighbors: What do your neighbors think of your new hobby? You might wanna ask them. They probably don’t care, but they might. Most can be bribed with honey.
Zoning and ordinances: Now’s the time to make sure your area is zoned for bees, if some level of registration is required, and any other legal items are taken care of. Finding out later can be expensive. And will give you the sads.
Insurance: Will insurance of some kind cover anything that might happen? A neighbor’s dog gets stung and you get sued. Vandals destroy your equipment.
Bee poop: When bees leave the hive, they drop their waste. This material is usually golden brown, sticky, and very, very acidic. It’ll take the paint off cars, stain the siding on a house or clothes on a line. Avoid that.
Watering your bees: Yep, bees need water close to the hive. On a hot summer day, a full-sized colony will use up to a gallon, even more.
Lucky for you, if you pay attention to this blog, you’ll be able to learn from my mistakes. Now there’s a motto for ya.