Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

Locking my bees up!


Newbie question coming up !
Ok here’s the deal. Christmas lunch at our house, 30 to 40 people probably outside, 10 to 15 metres from apiary. Can I close the entrance on my 2 hives for the day?

And it’s summer here in Australia. Temperature could reach mid 30 degree Celsius or hotter. But if you know Melbourne weather it could be cold also.


It might be a good idea to move your hives at least several kilometres away to a new site one evening before your event. You can’t lock them up all day.


I have closed the Hive entrance to transport my bees - But never all day - In winter perhaps


Two days before put a screen maybe eight feet high and five feet away from the entrance. Bees will get used to flying up and away from your guests.
Then warn them to leave the bees alone…
Merry christmas :slight_smile:


Our hives are usually 10 to 15 yards away from the patio and we entertain on it all the time with groups as large or larger than yours. Putting up the screen won’t hurt but I wouldn’t move the hives.

Let everyone know they are there, which allows anyone with an allergy to be alert and stay further away, and remind them to ignore the bees and not swat at them. We haven’t ever had a problem.

Of course it is possible that someone could get stung. That possibility always exists.

But over seven years the only stings have been when my dad and husband dropped a hive, when the dog (who insists) is chasing them, and when we are working with them, but very rarely then.

Odds are very good you won’t have any trouble at all and visitors will be interested in seeing the hive and the girls, from a bit of a distance of course.

Since you have never had a hive you may not know that you can walk all around an active hive, and except for very unusual circumstances, never be bothered at all.


Hi @Scottn1au, my opinion is you wont have any trouble locking the bees up all day. HOWEVER: If you have a lid like most of us Aussies with vents, just make sure the vents are clear of propolis. Another vital thing to consider is a vented entrance closer. It’s important that the bees are able to circulate plenty of air throughout the hive. Shade the hive if it’s a hot day. It might not hurt to put the sprinkler on them for an hour or even squirt a little bit of water through the vents. Ditto on the merry Christmas. How many sleeps to go now?.. PS. You’ll need to do this the night before unless your prepared to get up before first light. If it’s a warm evening, you may need to smoke them in.


Thanks for the replies guys. Seems to be a few different opinions on this topic.
Moving the hives to another location I can do but would rather not. That will be a last resort.
Putting up a screen and closing off the area to curious kids to keep them from venturing too close I can definitely do.
I also have vented lids and entrance closers. Closing them up for the day would be the easiest, I would really like to hear from someone who has actually done this. I’m just a bit worried about overheating the hive with too many bees in there all day.
I am confident that my bees won’t bring harm to any guests as long as they are left alone and not disturbed. I’m just trying to come up with something that will put my wife’s mind at ease, she is worried about the younger kids or someone who may be allergic.


@Scottn1au, There is another issue I forgot to mention. Especially kids in bare feet, there will always be dead & dying bees around. Even bees that have recently died can still sting once stood on by tender little feet. Believe me, you will be ok if you do as I said, shade the hive, squirt a bit of water in from time to time, put the sprinkler on every now & then, as long as the bees have good ventilation, they’ll do the rest. There’s a great video you might be interested in watching on Youtube, the title is “The City of Bees”. It shows how the bees use droplets of water to air condition the hive. This is why I recommend a squirt of water now & then. It’s worth remembering how they move semi trailer loads of bees from one side of the US to the other.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Not much difference of opinion at all. You asked if you could lock your hive up all day. People said yes you maybe could with some consideration for ventilation and heat but that they don’t personally do that. A number of us replied that you didn’t need to move your hives. You could either just leave them alone or put on a screen to direct the bees high and away from where your guests will be. A number of us also said that you didn’t need to worry. The guests will be fine, make sure everyone wear shoes, or looks at the ground before they walk near the beehive. I understand your wife is concerned, but that does not mean you actually have a problem. I think the message here is you probably don’t have a problem and that you have to learn to live with your bees. If your bees are located in a place where you can not live with them comfortably, then considering moving them makes sense, not just for the day, but permanently. You are worrying more than you need to. Your guests will think the bees are fascinating. Everything will be fine!


This is actually the only time I ever got stung when we had hives in the backyard as kids. But that was only once in several years.


Hi Adam, I’m always at my grandkids about walking around my yard barefooted. Wilma remembers two of them getting stung. They don’t come to our place without shoes now. I uploaded a video of why I don’t want my grandkids walking around my yard barefooted. It was after a good spell of heavy rain, the young bees must have kicked a lot of the old & infirmed bees out after the rain stopped. There was bees walking around, unable to fly everywhere.


I had a tree in my back yard chopped down last week the guys were 20’ (6m) from my hives - No worries!!