Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

External lights at night time causing problems

Hi team,

We are after some advice regarding external lights at night.

We live on the top floor of an apartment building in Sydney.

The property next door has an external light about 6 metres below the hive and the bees are hanging out next to it this morning. They are sitting still on the wall. Not much movement and not sure if they are alive.

In the photo below I have circled the hive in yellow and the external light in orange.

It’s 8:30am and the bees are still there (it’s also still in the shade).

The neighbours haven’t complained yet but I am trying to get on the front foot here.

They have mentioned dead bees on their patios in the past.

Do I need to screen the hive from the neighbours a little better? The bees are next to the edge and maybe if I brought them in from the parapet, and screened with hedges that could help?

It would be great to solve this issue without any major relocation as we don’t really have any other options for locations.

The bees have been in this location since November last year. This is the first time we’ve noticed this. Last night we did turn off another external light (in the location where I took the photo) so I think they’ve found the next closest light! We found a few hundred dead bees inside the light fitting we turned off last night!

For info we did a brood inspection two weeks ago and the hive is very healthy and strong.

Thanks for any advice!

Yes external lights can be an issue as you have found. Can you rotate your hive away from the light a little more. I find that if there is not a direct line of sight I don’t get bees on the lights. The other option may be a barrier between the hive and that light. Sometimes plants work sometimes you need something a little more solid.

Just looking at your photo, I wouldn’t have thought there would be an issue. I would definitely face the entrance away from the light & use some side covers so that the bees hanging out at night can’t see back at the light. Maybe you could fit some heavy shade cloth to the rail on that corner also.

I hope turning the hive around doesn’t cause any other issues.


Thank you. OK so we have added a temporary tarp over the rail and rotated the hive about 60 degrees or so towards the east which is where they were flying anyway. It was facing due north before. Now it’s north east.

We will invest in a better looking outdoor shade cloth and place some Lilly Pillies in front to soften the look.

1 Like

With no line of sight between the front of the hive and the light I’m a bit surprised it is an issue but look forward to how thing go with the adding of the shade cloth and rotating the hive. Please keep us updated.

Well done Ian. Lilly Pillies sound good, however as a beekeeper have you considered planting any Leptospermum varieties? They have a good range at Bunnings. You can read the labels to see which one grows to the desired height etc.

Don’t pick one which says Manuka. :wink:

I am a big fan of the grevilleas. Lots of nectar and pollen, very long flowering also good to attract honeyeater birds. There are varieties which do nicely in pots.

1 Like

A reed screen will look nice there I think.

1 Like

Are those dots, bees hanging around the light? given its day light, I’d want to be checking they aren’t living in that vent below the light fixture…

Maybe and checking would be good but I reckon they are just chilled and haven’t flown back yet.

How did you go overnight @The_garden_rooftop

1 Like

Hi everyone!

Good news! No bees on the wall or around the light next door. Neither last night nor this morning.

So the twist and tarp worked!

Bees seem very happy.

Almost all flow frames full so we extracted one frame this morning.

Thank you for the help!



Glad to read that Ian and thanks for the update.

Good news, you could try removing the tarp and see if the twist by itself is sufficient.

Enjoy the honey