Guest post by Education Officer – Cilla Platt

Award winning arrangement by IOM Beekeepers Federation Education Officer, Cilla Platt

Are you wondering if your garden is suitable for keeping bees in a built up area.

Here are a few things for you to consider.

The bees I am sure would love it, as it is warmer than the countryside and there are usually lots of garden and park flowers to feed from.

But!  There is always a but.

You must get the ok from all of your adjacent neighbours first.

If you get bees and they sting your non consenting neighbours, they could be classed as a nuisance.

At the very least you would have to move the bees or get rid of them, and at the worst you could have a court case on your hands.

Having said all that and you took the course and equipped yourself with a reasonable amount of knowledge, and you got your neighbours to agree, you could do it.

If you keep bees at your home in a small garden there are other factors you need to know:

Your garden will be in the flight path from your hive so you could get stung for no other reason than you are sitting outside and they don’t like the smell of your anti perspirant or your hubby’s after shave.  If you have friends visiting and they flap at a bee passing on its daily chores, they might sting.

Bees have very acute sense of smell and can smell if one of their friends has stung or is frightened, they could then go into defence mode.

You would need to not take your holidays in May or June, in fact you might need to be there longer, until you can do an artificial swarm to stop a swarm being a nuisance to the surrounding house holders.

I am pointing out the worst case scenario so you know what you are letting yourself in for!

If you were an experienced beekeeper you could do it, as you would have the knowledge to work with your bees to stop the above scenes happening.

If you wish to keep bees then I would recommend that you take the course and find some friendly farmer who would let you have a corner where you can improve your skills and get to understand your charges a bit better.


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