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Need Advice on Hive Location, Melbourne Australia

I am about to get a flow hive and start my Beekeeping journey. I live in a 3 level townhouse and there is limited space for me to place the beehive.

(1) The first location is the Rooftop. However, the roof access is via a skylight. On the roof, I would not have a problem with sunlight. However, I am worried about two things, ease of maintaining the hive and putting water up on the roof for hot days. Secondly, if ever I need to move the hive, it would be hard to move.

(2) Second location is in the courtyard against the wall. The problem would be the morning sun is blocked by the house. The bees would have a flight path over a high fence.

(3) Third location is in the courtyard against a fence. Same issue with the sunlight. As it is against the fence, I am thinking of building a chimney so that the bees can fly through it and over the fence.

Let me know what is a better option. Thank you.

Frank Neo

It seems the roof is too difficult to maintain the hive. The bees don’t need you to supply water, especially if you’re so close to that creek.

I wouldn’t over think the direction that the hive faces or how much shade it gets at certain parts of the day. The fence is also not a significant barrier for flying bees so I don’t think a chimney is necessary unless you’re trying to direct the flight path away from pedestrians or people in the yard. The yard seems small so I’d put it wherever you have enough space around to work the hive and where the entrance isn’t facing directly at a nearby footpath. If there are frequently people in that courtyard you’ll have to consider that the bees may, especially if they are feeling aggravated, bother/sting/chase people.


Yes. The chimney purpose is to divert the bees to go directly out to the reserve behind the fence which goes down to the creek.

Someone said because it doesn’t get too much sun, it is possible to be damp during winter and mould and fungi may be a problem.

Another concern I have is will the sound form the hive be very loud? I haven’t been near a hive before so I don’t know.

Could be but I think its something you may have to wait and see. If the roof and everything is sealed it should be ok. There are a lot of cooler, darker, wetter places that don’t have overwhelming issues with mold.

Not really - sometimes you can hear the bees flying from 20-30m away, especially if the drones are really flying but it isn’t loud by any means.

definitely not the roof frank.
i know a guy nearby who has a hive between a shed and a side fence on 2 sides and points directly at another fence to the front. It gets pretty much no sun ever. maybe a little bit mid summer at noon, but i actually can remember if there a tree about as well just for good luck.

i’d definitely go the courtyard.


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