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If this was your yard, where would you place the hive?


[central Texas]

So I’m about to put a stand and brood box out, just need to figure out where in my (small) yard to place it. What do you think?


  1. I’ve got the side corner area that has ivy/vine growth and no grass. (backyard, rightside when looking fron street; NW corner in shady area from aerial view) There’s a wooden picket fence through the middle of the ivy, splitting between driveway and backyard, with an iron fence connecting to neighbors yard. I could put it on either side of wooden fence, in this ivy stuff.
  2. There’s the back yard corner that no one really goes in, near the concrete square slab and the wooden privacy fence (southwest corner of aeriel view)… but I have to mow that area and we are planning to plant more. The wooden fence leading to front yard may be coming down in order to exand landscaping and permaculture plantings
  3. There’s the front yard side of the house in between the two properties, along the wall of the house (south side of house, left side of house viewed from street). But there probably is not enough space between neighbors house and mowing may cause stings.
  4. There’s the front yard, in the landscaping area, along the curved brick wall that separates the driveway from front yard (right side of house viewed from front, or north east corner of garage/driveway). I’ve read its good to have a obstacle or flight path like a wall for a hive. yay/nay?
  5. I’ve got a flat, white roof over my backyard patio I can easily access with a ladder. its not on the main house roof, just overtop the patio. West side of backyard.


Great property. I believe one of the considerations here should be where can you keep them in as much sun as possible to keep the bees as healthy as possible. Shady areas I have read a lot about create other problems with mites and things. The next consideration if it were me is keeping them from being visible from the street— it is just inviting someone to enter the property and cause problems (liability alone). From the photos the front right curved brick looks like it has plenty of sun, but needs some shielding from the street view. Not sure how much space between there and the neighbor, but you should also consider the impact to them. Let us all know what you decide— happy beekeeping.


I find it hard to visualize your property without walking around it. However, let me give you some basic thoughts:

  1. The hive should face away from highly trafficked areas (front door, sidewalk, driveway, large windows which are lit at night).
  2. Ideally the hive entrance should face south-east or south, but that is less important than number 1 above.
  3. One of the best locations for a hive is with morning sun (to help the bees get going early in the day) and afternoon shade (to assist with cooling in hotter weather, and make afternoon inspections more comfortable for you. Getting enough sun is important in areas prone to small hive beetle (like yours).
  4. Check whether your City has any beekeeping regulations. For example, San Diego specifies that urban hives in City limits must be 16 feet from the property boundary line, and 25 feet from any public thoroughfare (street, sidewalk etc). In the unincorporated (rural) areas of the City, the distances are much greater. Google can probably help you find the answer, or your local bee club might be even better. Chapter 3-6 of this article may apply to you, and it discusses flyover barriers :wink:
  5. If you have neighbors who may object to your hobby, you may want to place the hives in a location with as much privacy as possible. It just helps to avoid aggro. :blush:

Hope that gives you some pointers.


yea, anything on the front of the house (east side) would be totally visible from the street.


good tips…will it work to place the entrance towards a tall privacy fence? Will this cause problems, or will the hive simply just fly up and out?


From the colony’s point of view, it is no problem. @JeffH has hives almost up against the wall of his house, facing the wall. I have hives in a Community Garden, with a bee-proof 6 foot tall fence about 18" in front of the entrance. They get around (over) the fence with no problem at all.

The only major concern is, do you have enough separation from your boundary, taking into account the privacy fence? Back to regulations to check, if you want to be sure.


I’m wondering if anyone’s seen something like this used?

Purple Martin bird houses are regularly used w/ a telescoping pole or pulley/winch system. This allows the house to be raised/lowered for access and cleaning.

I imagine with a little modification and a hive box that’s ratchet strapped together, it could be elevated up above head level and out of the way, in a small yard.

or is this the dumbest brainstorming ever?


I imagine with a little modification and a hive box that’s ratchet strapped together, it could be elevated up above head level and out of the way, in a small yard.
or is this the dumbest brainstorming ever?


I would consider placing the hives at or near ground level. The other thing you might want to consider is an enclosure big enough to fit the 2 to 3 hives that you may end up, with and also possibly clad with fence palings (you’ll need a gate) so the hives can’t be seen and the bees will fly up and over it - rather than into anyone. One caution being the small hive beetle and sun. I have seen hives here in Tasmania in small glades in the tall forests where they were surrounded by basically an impenetrable tree barrier (upwards of twenty to thirty metres) and the bees fly almost straight up and then drop vertically back down to get to the hives. Just a bit of sun on them during the middle of the day.


If you want to get the bee flight path up you could look at a snorkel/periscope rather than lifting the hive body. My parents have a feral hive in their backyard in an old metres stove with the chimney still on. It pushes the bees up ~8’

I’ve got my hives directly facing fences or the chook house. I just have to control spiders as they love building their webs where they can lasso the bees moving up and out



maybe somehting like this:


wow…now I want that.



Right under or adjacent to the mailbox. You’ll save money that way because there’ll be no bills delivered :slight_smile:


So, after seeing the comments here, I suspect there is no problem butting up the hive front to a lattice balustrade? I expect the bees will have to land on the lattice before walking into the landing board on the hive. The lattice would be like that seen in below the deck on this image: http://www.thomsonsoutdoorpine.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Deck-steps-balustrade-lattice.jpg


I would prefer to have about 6 inches (15cm) of clearance in front of the entrance, but you may find that they can handle less than that.


II would suggest that you could put the hive right up to the lattice of the balustrade, no problems at all. You still have the gap between the hive body & the roof gable or landing board, whichever is greater.


Thanks for the advice - I’ll see how it all fits when the hives arrive. It’s a small deck, and will need some space behind to walk. Will let you know how it goes.


Thanks Jeff - I’ll let you know how it all goes.