Folk Tuesday: Time to Get a Gun

I’m sure it’s purely coincidence that this song has been running through my head ever since I found a notice hanging on my front door, telling me I was being cited for “illegal beekeeping” because my back fence is too short and my beehives are too close to our property line.

Illegal beekeeping? Really? Colonies are disappearing all over the country, the survival of the human race more or less depends on the survival of our pollinators, and city governments are going to cite people for illegal beekeeping?

Get off my land.

Emily

2 Responses to Folk Tuesday: Time to Get a Gun

  1. Sadly, government is prone to things like that. Drives me nuts.

    I drive all over the city and its environs. I see parts of West Tulsa, and Sand Springs, and Sapulpa, where people clearly don’t worry a thing about what code enforcement has to say. They have cars parked on gravel, on the lawn, junked cars, goats, chickens, rabbits, and God knows what else. Some folks have high grass. Some folks have most of their lawns mowed, but large chunks apparently given over jungle-like weed growth. Nobody cares. If any of those people ever get cited, it doesn’t seem to change their actions.

    But God forbid you should have bees too close to the property line. I could understand some concern if you had aggressive, Africanized bees, but last I heard, they still weren’t making it very far north of the Texas border.

    And it’s not like the bees are going to care, I assume. If you built higher fences and put the hives further away from the property line, would they not continue flying exactly where they fly now? Seems like a pointless and abusive exercise of power to me.

  2. It’s pretty stupid. Neighbor apparently got scared of them because they’re all hanging around the front of the hive, fanning their wings to cool it down, which looks scary if you don’t know what they’re doing. Rather than grow a pair and actually talk to us to find out what was going on, he decided this was happening because we had too many hives, so he called the city. In point of fact, we have four hives, which is the maximum number allowable in town. But they are less than 20 feet from the property line, and our back fence is four-foot chain link rather than six-foot privacy. This means that he is still going to have 200,000 pollinators living behind him. But because he called the city instead of talking to us like anybody with a lick of home training would have done, we are going to have to shuck out a grand for a new fence (which the bees will just fly over anyway) and move the hives across the yard — a complicated and risky process, because you can’t just put them on a dolly and roll them wherever you want. You have to move them less than two feet or more than two miles; otherwise, they keep trying to go back to the old spot, get confused, and can’t find their way home. Circumventing this problem requires a U-Haul rental and a lot of driving around and turning sharply with top-heavy hives on the truck.

    In essence, our passive-aggressive wuss of a neighbor has caused a monumental hassle and expense for us while doing nothing to solve a problem that was probably more imagination than reality to begin with.

    I, of course, am going to return the favor by completely covering the back side of my new fence with plants, hummingbird feeders, orchard mason bee houses, and anything else I can come up with to attract pollinators — the larger and scarier, the better — to the easement that abuts his property.

    Don’t mess with the queen, man. She can sting you as many times as she wants.

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