Bee Prepared: How to Interact with Urban Beehives

Village at Griesbach recently installed two urban beehives. Urban beekeeping provides fantastic benefits to community members as well as the environment, but urban beehives need to be respected as bees are still living creatures. In order to keep both community members and our bee guests safe, we have compiled a list of dos and don’ts for interacting with the Village at Griesbach beehives.

For the most part, honey bees are incredibly safe and docile. Bees only sting when they feel that they, their Queen, or their hive is at risk. Bees are on a constant quest to bring nectar, pollen, resin, and water back into the hive, so they are rather uninterested in humans. When a bee stings someone, their stinger and part of their abdomen is ripped from their body and the bee dies, so they do not sting arbitrarily. So long as you keep your distance and allow bees to accomplish their goal of bringing resources back to their colony, you are very unlikely to get stung. 

Etiquette for Beehives

Honey bees are incredibly docile; however, they can be defensive of their colony and hive. Bees have a flight trajectory of about six feet horizontally to get in and out of their hive, so try to stay at least 10 feet away from the entrance. In Village at Griesbach, the entrances to the beehives face a wall, so always avoid standing between the wall and the hives. 

Bees are most active when the sun is shining on the hive during daylight hours. As such, daytime is when you are most likely to see bees flying around, but also when you need to keep a greater distance. Bees are on a mission to bring floral resources back to their colony, so you do not want to interrupt them while they are working. 

What To Do Around Beehives

There are a few simple steps you can take to keep bees at ease and ensure that you are as safe as possible. Here are some tips for what to do when interacting with bees.

  1. Wear light coloured clothing and avoid brightly coloured, dark, or patterned clothing. Bees have adapted to fear many predators that have dark coloured fur such as badgers and bears, and bright or dark clothing near the beehives can come across as a threat.
  2. Tie back long hair and wear a hat. Bees can get entangled hair, and when they feel trapped they get agitated, often resulting in being stung.
  3. Keep your movements slow and fluid. Quick, sharp movements can come across as aggressive to bees, when interacting with bees and beehives, move slowly and with as much fluidity as possible. 
  4. Plant pollinator-friendly plants in your garden to attract bees to your home. The Griesbach beehives will help ensure that your gardens are thriving, so be sure to plant lots of wonderful smelling plants at home! Download our brochure of pollinator-friendly plants to learn more.
  5. Don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful, buzzing bees who have come to our community! Bees are docile, so you can sit and admire them if you choose! If you visit the Griesbach beehives, be sure to take a selfie and tag @villageatgriesbach! 

What Not To Do Around Beehives

Bees are rather uninterested in stinging people, but there are a few things you should avoid doing to ensure you keep the bees calm.

  1. Throw things. Throwing items at the bees not only risks hurting the bees or damaging the beehives, but it also can result in the bees feeling attacked and swarming to protect their colony.
  2. Wear perfumes or strong scents. Floral scents will attract the bees which can often result in a person becoming afraid and acting erratically, disturbing the bees.
  3. Shake out clothing. If you visit a beehive there is a chance bees could get trapped in your clothing. Shaking the clothing out could agitate the bees and cause them to sting. 

Bee-having Around the Hives

Village at Griesbach’s urban beehives offer so much to the community. They will provide additional pollination services to the community’s plant life as well as provide community members the opportunity to care for bees and introduce new sustainability initiatives. The general rule to follow with bees is that if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. Respond calmly and keep your distance from the hives and you are sure to have a positive experience with Griesbach’s beehives!

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