Seeking advice on hive location, suburban backyard in Perth, W.A

Hey guys, we’re thinking about getting a Flowhive for our suburban backyard, here in Perth, Western Australia. Our local council regulations stipulate the hive must be situated at least 10m from a public area (pathway, road etc) and 5m from a property boundary/fence which basically limits us to one spot in the back garden.

I’m really interested in people’s real world experience living with hives in suburbia, with a dog and any problems hanging washing or mowing the lawn etc. I don’t want to install one create a huge problem for ourselves or our neighbours.

I’ve attached a pic and provide links to others (as I can only attach 1 pic to this post for some reason) to provide info and context on where and how I’m thinking of locating my hive and how I’d screen it to make the garden as safe as possible. Note, I don’t have young kids (but grandkids are probably <5yrs away) and we do have an active dog that uses the backyard as a personal fitness track (i.e. she runs around like a loon).

I’d really appreciate everyone’s thoughts, opinion and advice on whether you think we can practically and safely make this arrangement work

Cheers Tony

Linked pics as I can only attach 1 pic to this post
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You can only post one image because this is your first time posting (I think)…

Where do you neighbours hang their clothes? The only issue I once had was the bees flying over the fence to flowers at the bottom of where my neighbour hung their clothes. I put a screen in place to force the bees to fly higher and no issues since, ever.

At the moment I’d be suggesting to place the hive against tthe noisy shed, with the entrance facing the shed and a gap of about 5cm (you could go closer but you’ll want to watch at times). It’s not noise that agitate the bees but light at night.

I’ve had no issues with my dogs but they can’t really get to the hive. One reacts to bee stings but the only issue occurred before I got a hive. No issues since having the hive.

My hive also sits on the south side of my property (SW corner) and I’ve had no issues. It is placed a location common advice would advise against but it’s the best location for me and my neighbours.

There’s various other threads discussing hive location, including for Perth, so if you search will find other discussions.

Given the close proximity of pools make sure you give consideration to location of water sources close to the hive. And you can easily go through a couple of litres in a day in the peak of summer. But bees can’t swim… Do look at the thread discussing water sources to get a few ideas.

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I pointed mine away from my covered patio. The hive is actually only 25 feet from edge of patio but pointed to a small wooded area. The flight paths I have noticed so far have been to either side of house or out above trees. Really high flight paths so far so no worries. Of course this could all change as it heats up. As for a source of water I never knew how important that was to bees. But having a bird bath right by hive has been a great decision. Need to add some rocks for them to land on.

I thought that bees would be flying around the patio and getting stuck under roof over hang but that is not the case they treat the house as an obstacle and will go up and fly over.


Most LGAs in WA beekeeping rules are older than the Western Australian Apiarts’ Society Best Practice Guidelines for Urban Beekeeping. Having said that they are designed to provide some guidance around the questions your asking and well worth a read.

Best Practice Guidelines for Urban Beekeeping link -

My real world experience with hives in front and back yards is that it is about managing your guard bees (what they can see) and the flight paths (what they pass over within 10-20m of the hive in all directions).



@SnowflakeHoney @BlakeW @AdamMaskew - Hey guys, thanks for your quick replies and advice. Adam, I found that Best Practices guide earlier today and had a good read of it - good info in there. From what I’ve read and from people I’ve spoken to it seems like my hive location and setup should work, however, I’m still worried that I’ll be installing a future problem for the wife/kids or dog in the backyard. Also, I don’t want to have to go to the bother of having to mow the lawn in a full suit, or even just the veil/head section if I can help it. It seems like it’s all about hive screening and forcing the bees up so they flight away from the hive above head height?? Does anyone ever have smart bees work out there’s less energy involved in flying around to the back (harvest side) of the hive and flying away at a lower level? Or do they always generally fly up and then out from the entrance side?

Yes they do. My advice, with a caution, is get your council approval based on the location that means that you will get it. When installing the hives make a pragmatic decision to locate where the best location is to manage all issues.

I know WAAS is working with the WA Local Government Association to develop a contemporary set of beekeeping rules for adoption by all local governments based on the guidelines. But it will take time.

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Hi Tony and welcome to the forum.
My concerns would be the neighbouring pools. As soon as your neighbours hear you keep bees every bee seen will automatically be yours and, in their eyes, your responsibility.
Keep in mind the inspections, and smoke, required for responsible bee husbandry.
And if this hasn’t scared you off, good luck, have fun and let us know how you go.