Depending on breed of honey bee you choose plays a part in their demeanor. Italian honey bees are known for being the most laid back of the honey bees. For the most part though, honey bees just want to do their work. Away from the hive, the only time a bee will sting is if it thinks you are trying to kill it. You step/sit on it or squish it some way, it will sting. Otherwise, all she wants to do is go out, collect food and bring it back to the hive. At the hive is where demeanor comes more in to play. Italians are, from my experience, the easiest to work with. I've been keeping bees 2 years and (knocks on wood) I have not been stung yet. So long as you are respectful of the hive, treat it gently while working on it, you will be fine with Italian honey bees.
Long story short, bees just want to do their work. Away from the hive, they typically only sting if they think they are in danger. So the kids and neighbors around your place should be safe so long as they aren't in your back yard messing with the hive itself.
As far as location goes, we keep ours towards the back of our yard where the bees are shelter from wind and most of the worst of the weather and it allows us to use all of our backyard without disturbing them.