Home owner - distance required between hives and house

by ARNIE FORTNER
(KY.)


I ONLY HAVE A SMALL LOT. I HAVE HEARD
THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE HIVES A
CERTAIN DISTANCE FROM DWELLING HOUSES.
IS THIS CORRECT?

THANKS.

---

Hi Arnie,

There are really 2 issues to consider here.

Practically speaking, there's no minimum distance that hives should be kept from a house. Some beekeepers even keep a hive inside their home (observation hives).

Whatever you and others living in the house are comfortable with is fine.

Just think a bit about where you're considering placing the hives, and try to think of any problems with that location.

For example, placing a hive next to the house with the hive entrance facing a doorway would be a bad idea. The flight path of the bees would cross the paths of people entering/exiting the home.

You want to minimize happenstance contact between bees and people (and pets). Sometimes placing the hives behind a solid fence can be helpful in putting the flight path of the bees above people and pets.

But also think about whether a particular spot might be disturbing to the bees. Placing a hive right next to the outside unit of an air conditioning system wouldn't be wise, for instance. The vibrations would be disturbing (and maybe agitating) to the bees.

The second issue is one of legality.

Some municipalities have some rather arcane and nonsensical laws concerning beekeeping. Some even prohibit beekeeping altogether (the number of these is diminishing, fortunately).

So you should check the ordinances where you live to see if the law will impact your decision of where to place your hives.

Hope this helps, and best of luck with your bees!

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