Honey bees play an important role in Greenville’s environment and South Carolina’s economy. Honey bees add millions of dollars statewide to the value of fruit, vegetable, and seed crops.
In addition, they contribute to a diverse and healthy ecosystem, acting as key pollinators for most flowering plants and trees in our own yards and fields.
Currently, scientists widely agree that honey bees are threatened by a lack of available nutrition and too many parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Bees are considered agricultural, and therefore, are not currently subject to regulation.
Tips for Beekeepers and Neighbors of Beekeepers
Communicate with each other. Talking with your neighbor may be the quickest way to resolve a situation.
A smart beekeeper will take proactive approaches to reduce the concerns of neighbors:
- Try to locate a hive away from property lines and orientate the hive entrance away from walkways.
- Urban beekeepers can help direct the flight pattern of their honey bees by installing a section of privacy fence or another obstacle a few feet in front of the hive entrance. Bees leaving the hive will fly up and over the obstruction where they will be less likely to encounter children playing or a neighbor working in the yard.
- Provide honey bees their own water source to keep them from visiting the kiddie pool next door.
If your neighbor has honey bees, here are a few things to remember:
- Honey bees are generally non-aggressive creatures that sting only when defending themselves or their hive.
- Not all striped insects are honey bees. Don’t confuse honey bees with wasps or yellow jackets.
The South Carolina Beekeepers Association is a wonderful organization that acts as a valuable resource for individuals interested in supporting the honey bee population. Visit their website for additional information and resources on beekeeping.