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Keeping bees near house

I want to have my first hive near my house. I bought some flower seed and are waiting for supplier for lavender seeds. I want to place the hive about 100 feet away from house and plant flowers about 10 feet around hive. Now some people are telling me it is not practical to plant flowers for bees and that I should place hive in fields. I want to study the bees and their behavior not doing it to make honey. Is it unpractical?


I have mine about 50 feet from my house directed toward a 6’ fence and way from the traffic pattern in the yard and it has been fine. Kids know to look out for bees in the grass but otherwise, no issues with the proximity so far.

The bees fly up and over the garage and trees to somewhere distant. Can’t tell my bees apart from other bees so I don’t know if the ones in my garden are mine or someone else’s.


As long as your bees have plenty of trees and/or fields of floral sources within a 3-5mile radius, you’ll be fine. Plant your flowers. They’ll be your close to home bee observation facility. Also brings in the native bees. Make sure the bees have plenty of water available too. Enjoy.


Welcome Stegmann :cherry_blossom:

I have five hives that are all about 100 feet or less from my house. Occasionally a flying bee will collide with my 6’4” son’s head at certain points in the yard. I love watching all the various pollinators that come to my flowers. You should be fine with your setup following Alok and Mike’s advice - plus having no bright lights visible to the hive entrance, and reading anything you can to learn about beekeeping!


I’ve got a hive that is less than 3in from my house… Flight path directed away from the normal side of approach. I raised the fence, with neighbour consent, to mitigate issues on their side. All is well.


The OP is in South Africa so will be keeping African bees, I wouldn’t want them 3 inches away lol.

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Good point.

But in that case most comments here are going to irrelevant.


There is the same Italian strain of bees that are kept in South Africa, and just as popular there as in Australia for bee keeping. are you confusing Africanized bees as the bees he is wanting to keep? A totally different bee in temperament. Like chalk and cheese.

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South Africa has either Apis mellifera scutellata or Apis mellifera capensis, both sub species of the western honey bees we keep.

It was crossing EHB with scutelatta that created ‘killer bees’ but the danger of these has been very overstated by the media, Hollywood etc.


Our hive is about 20ft from our back door. That part of the yard is raised about 6ft from the level of the door.
Never had an issue.
Have also found that flowers planted within the backyard the bees ignore completely. Just fly right over it
They love the Lavender and Bottlebrush in the front yard tho. They’re about 90ft away.

At my Coolum Beach apiary of 25 hives there is a wattle tree in flower providing shade to the hives but the bees ignore that wattle tree and begin foraging on them beginning about 25 meters away. For some reason the bees ignore the closer ones. The further trees get worked really hard at the moment. No idea why it happens, it defies my thoughts.

I am told that beehives should be north facing from what is being said as long as they are away from walkways

Only if you are in the southern hemisphere. :wink:


In an ideal world downunder, yes. However, it isn’t critical. My hive is oriented East West, exposed to the South, and sheltered by the house against all northern exposure.

I have no issues, concerns or complaints.

This is probably due to location in general. Dampness or cold isn’t an issue. That being said, looking at how frames are built up over the cooler months I think the radiant heat from the house is helpful.

My hives are located not too far from where our kids play on their swingset. Much closer than 100’. The bees could care less. They exit the hive, swing up high and fly off to forage. The kids know not to hang out directly in front - to approach from the side and wear shoes. We’ve had a few stings. Guess when?

When someone stood directly in front of the hive, or walked up to it barefoot. But just random stings out and around the yard? Not once.

I’ve never gone out of my way to hide the hives body, nor have I advertised the fact that it’s there. The neighbor behind us knows for sure - she thinks it’s pretty cool. The other neighbors either don’t know or don’t care. Either way, the first batch of honey in the spring is going out as a bribe/peace offering. A jar or two to each side will make them co-conspirators. :slight_smile:
Cheers, printsbery

Are you in South Africa?

I have 10 acre farm and my bees are where I can see them about 150 ft from my door. They head to forage and I have flowers by my house they do prefer the orchard. BUT early am of at night you may find a bee or so in your house because the light does attract them in.

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Thankyou everyone for your interest, I am about 15 kilometers north of Geraldton Western Australia a place called White Peak, I now have my first be hive started from a caught swarm and it is situated facing south and is doing its own thing and appears to be very happy fingers crossed I will give it a week and put the queen excluder on and the honey box. How often do you have to check the hive, that is open it and check the frames?

Welcome to the Forum Peter, lots of reading here and heaps of good advice if you ask.
The entrance should be facing north east to north so the bees will get the first light into the hive entrance sooner, you can turn the hive about 30 degrees each day or two so as not to disturb the bees.
Don’t add the super till the brood box is really active with at least 80% of the cells in use for brood or stores. It is a common mistake when starting out to put the super on too soon and that isn’t going to help the colony, it actually sets them backwards.
I do inspections every two weeks, sometime stretches to three weeks. It works for me in my climate and I’m not caught with a surprise in that time and I prefer to find any issues before they become a big problem.

I have my hive about 50 feet from house too. I find no problem with this so far. They tend to mind their own business. I am looking to plant some flowers as well for them near their hive because we live in the middle of the desert with not much but tumbleweeds and shrubs around.