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Bees and pets advice


Has anyone had any problems with pets being around the hive or in fairly close vicinity? Any advice or stories are welcome.

I am a newby waiting for the flow hive to arrive. I am spending this year learning and plan to start my hive next spring. I have 4 dogs (two labradores that are very playful, 1 American Eskimo who is old but still spunky, and a little 12 pound rescue mutt that likes to chase squirrels).

The area I want to place the hive is about 15 feet away from the dogs outdoor kennel (they stay in the kennel when I leave the house; otherwise the dogs are always with me indoors or with me in our garden or yard.
I plan on putting up a tarp “screen” on the side of the kennel they is closest to the hive (the kennel fence is 6 foot high chain link). The dogs won’t have access to the hive space, but I am worried whether this hive space is ok so close to my dog kennel.


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Sorry for the newby ignorance DextersShed. What is the 3ft 3 mile rule?


Thanks DexterShed for the info. I had not even considered the water bowl issue. I do have a spot in the indoor area of the dog kennel where I can put the dogs water. I live on a lake. I hope the bees will like the lake water better!

What is the 3ft-3 mile rule?


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My hives are located in my pasture under a willow tree where the milkweed is plentiful. I have lots of deer and they were curious the first week, then, not so much…:wink: Now my barn cat’s nemesis is checking them out. I suspect he will gain some quick respect for the new residents.


Ah, that makes sense!! Don’t want my little bees get lost! Thanks for the info. Very helpful and Informative.


Hi GreekBecky! That was quite a surprise for the deer!


Nature at its best, hehe…everyone knows their place. :bee:


You can move a hive wherever you want, whenever you want, no matter the distance. There are plenty of instructions out there on how to move a hive if you want to find out how to do so, but basically you block their entrance for 24 hours and on release, make sure there is an obstruction like twigs/leaves in the entrance. This forces them to re-orientate and they find their way back perfectly well. It works. Honey Bee Suite has a good description of this on the blog and someone even made a YouTube video of their experience based on this blog’s info. Also, find Michael Bush’s writings and read him.


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I think you need to be very careful about having bees near animals that cannot escape them. My grandfather kept bees and came home to find his 3 dogs had died after being attacked by the bees from the hive in his garden. The dogs could not escape the yard. They were African bees. I have no idea how the hive was situated but it had been in the garden for a while. Be careful. I don’t how likely this is to happen to your dogs but if the bees swarmed and the dogs were attacked they would not survive.


That is so sad. And that is exactly what I am worried about. I think I will choose another location for the hive. There is another spot on my property that is away from the dog kennel, but it’s an area where I often play catch with the 4 dogs. I am thinking I can put a small chain link fence around the hive space. That way the dogs can’t bump the hive and can’t get to close. And, I’d always be there to supervise the dogs and gauge the mood of the bees before we’d play near(ish) the hive. (it’s a large area, so the dog catch space wouldn’t be right by the bee hive).

While sad to know of the pups who were attacked, we can at least learn from it. Thank you for sharing this story and information!


I too have two dog that have open access to my back yard in a residential community. I too am just getting started in beekeeping and concerned about neighbors possible objection. I am considering placing my single hive or two in a community garden about a half mile from my home away from people and domestic animals. I will ask others about there thoughts at a local beekeepers association meeting tomorrow evening. There is a heavily use railroad track, possibly 5 trains daily, within 50 meters of the planed location.


As a veterinary technician working emergency, I have seen many dogs stung on the muzzle by bees. Many have no problem, however, many more show an allergic reaction as their muzzles swell up. The latter is most likely due to the fact that the dogs have tried to “bite” the bees. You may wish to call your veterinarian and ask how much Benadryl you should give your dog should this happen. Personally I always purchase a new box to keep on hand early in the spring so I know I have it, just in case.
I keep my hives at the very back of my property, a good half acre away, and fenced off. This may keep my dogs away from the hives, it really does nothing for the bees who travel their own path.


Actually there is a new method going around in the States now. Instead of the 3 foot/3 mile rule you can obstruct the entry of the hive with grass, twigs or leaves. When the bees clear the opening again they automatically reorient to their new location. I tried it with 2 of my hives and it worked.


Although dogs quickly learn to avoid the beehives (yes, sticking a nose on the entry way is a pointed lesson) I would not keep dogs penned up 15 feet away from your hives. When the bees get cranky your poor dogs will not be able to run away to safety. If one bee stings, a pheromone is release that will draw more bees to attack. Every book I have read says the hive should not be near corralled, caged, penned, chained, or tied livestock as they could not run and escape. Is there another location you could place the hives?


That has been my experience also, Gayle. I’ve never heard of it failing and working only sometimes. The bees reorient as they come out. That is the key.


I forgot to mention robbing. I can be 20 feet away from my hives but if invaders are robbing out a hive everything becomes a target; people, pets, lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc. They are angry and can chase you down.


Bees dont like black animals. I have several dogs and the only one they go for is the black one.