Objections to hives

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New Bee
Apr 13, 2010
Reaction score
Winkleigh, Devon
Hive Type
Hi Guys,

One of my neighbours is now getting cold feet about me beekeeping. Although I don't want to fall out with him- he is getting on a bit, my question is, can people raise legal objections to you keeping hives on your own land? As mentioned before, I live in a little village in Devon, open countryside being less than 100m away.

And I've now got no colonies in my garden becaue my neighbours were getting aggressive, threatening lawyers and videoing me everytime I went to look at the bees.
I would invite the neighbour over for a glass of something. Ask him what his worries were. Chat about the bee life and how they work. Ignorance is his biggest fear.
Explain how you can place them so they fly up, up and away - but if he has fruit trees, bushes etc he will get a bigger crop. He will obviously get honey:coolgleamA:
I have a neighbour who doesnt know I keep bees - and I have 6 colonies here.- Oh and by the way - no queen cells here so all behaving ;)
You have the right to enjoy your own property, and my advice to prospective beekeepers is always to not tell neighbours of plans to keep bees.

Anyone who is objecting to an activity you haven't even started yet is acting like a clown. And as for legal objections to a hobbyist activity you haven't even started yet, well, I can't see that in a million years.

I think the way ahead is to not volunteer information about your beekeeping plans to neighbours, and to just get on with it. Even stick out a couple of empty hives for a few weeks before you actually get bees. And then if you get a complaint of some sort you can say 'Well, I don't even keep bees. This neighbour of mine is being a nuisance'.

Lastly, do make sure that you have a Plan B ready so that if your beekeeping does cause problems, you have another location to which you can move hives to at short notice, because 'Yes', beekeepers do have responsibilities in respect of the safety of other people. Moving hives away to an out apiary at the emergence of a problem is the responsible thing to do.
Last edited:
When my neighbour noticed mine they were a little worried until i told them they had been them for years and this is the first time anyones questioned it.
That seemed to reassure them and ive had no bother since.
They had only been there about a fortnight.
I think we are assuming you have at least handled bees and have a garden that isn't tiny. Better to handle bees and know what the deal is before getting a copule of hundred thousand living in your back garden.
Would it be possible to set up some 6-8 ft screening around the hives to force the bees up.?
Thanks for your responses, Midland B, have a seperate area of land to my garden which neighbours surrounding gardens, have not handled bees as yet and have no intention of doing so until I have at the very least joined my local branch,

Mike, that's a really good idea, the area of my land is about 40'X20' and netting round would not be a problem, I have to introduce some shade anyway.

I do know people - quite a few - who are genuinely scared/phobic/"creeped out" by bees. Personally I do think it would be unfair to expect a neighbour who felt that wayto be relaxed about hives being kept close to his garden, particularly if there are any other options.
Other people just don't know much about bees and will be wary out of that.
Some people just like being miserable and complaining of course.

However as he already knows your plans, inviting him round to discuss things may help; if he is expecting your bees to be aggressive - i.e. if he doesn't know much about bees - then it could solve the problem.
No reason not to take him on a guilt trip while he is there so he leaves feeling it must be his sworn duty to support you. You could start with intensive farming mono-culture and agro chemicals impact on bees and how his cheap shopping basket relies on the girls doing their thing to pollinate the source of 60% of the things he typically buys and how his pretty flower borders are also thanks to them (will ignore the other pollinators for the purpose of this debate)

Latest posts