Omlet Beehaus

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Whatever you say Geoff must be right,you know much more about bee's than ever i will. The more hives in gardens the better.
Last edited:

It's a question of risk management and how the beekeeper manages that risk. If you have a few well managed docile hives in a garden and you only look at them under optimum conditions; have high hedges; bee friendly neighbours and have complete and effective swarm control you should be OK.

However, lots of people won't bother with the above and when an "accident" happens will express remorse, but the damage is done. Some people can be very unforgiving if something happens to their childeren and others if stung won't forget. Many will reach for a solicitor to help relieve the pain... Third party insurance should not exist to encourage poor beekeepers and badly sited/managed hives.

I don't think that bees in a garden are a good idea: with bees there is one certainty, somone will at some point in time will be stung!

That said there are good responsible beekeepers with bees at the bottom of the garden.
Last edited:
To wade in armed only with ignorance :).... my bees were very calm (and have reverted to the same lovely gentle temperament again), to the point even my OH would've been happy with a hive in our small-but-no-neighbours garden....until I lost the queen.
Obviously the loss of a queen theoretically COULD happen to anyone, but lets face it: beginners are way more likely to end up this way due to their own error. (obviously I'm not trying to imply here that I am in any way less than perfect - perish the thought....!). Also much more likely to loose swarms, handle them badly to get them good and riled up on a summers afternoon, etc.
I agree completly with Geoff that calm bees can be kept in the right garden (inc with the right neighbours, family, pets and the like), if the beek has the experise to manage them properly. But IMO for beginners like me, particularly if they have no access to an out-apiary, it would be a risk.
And bees (honey and bumble) need good PR: it won't help encourage people to live with bumble-bee nests if someones work-colleagues-second-coursins-next-door-neighbour's-bees are an aggressive nightmare.
Had to remove a series of swarms from a beekeepers garden one year. He was a nice chap and 3 langstroth deeps at the bottom of the garden. Every year he had swarm problems and the neighbours were completely fed up.

His swarm control was to keep cutting out queen cells.

If you want to keep bees in the garden you have to be a more responsible than if the bees are in a field in the middle of nowhere.

I just don't think this will happen.
I'm interested to know how the 'Beehaus novice' will guarantee that the strain of bee that they introduce to their new home is a placid one......or are Omlet going to source a specific pussy cat bee from somewhere?
Mike's probably got a contract with them already!!
Any bee can be temperamental.

I walked away from mine the other day as I was doing more harm than good.

They were utterly foul, but the weather was humid and showery.

Any strain can be stingy in the right conditions.

One thing I have learned from this is that some people cannot have a discussion without reverting to sarcasm.
So What is your answer then to those beginners who want to start beekeeping? Sounds like its just forget it. Unless you have access to somewhere a long way from houses, or public access then bees should not be kept.
If you only have a small garden,then yes,thats exactly my advice.
plenty of sites away from houses to keep bee's.
I'm afraid Geoff Hivemaker is right and when I taught evening classes I made the same point. This is nothing to do with being new to the craft or otherwise, it is about safety and the modern propensity to sue.

If it can go pear shaped for me, with my experience then it can happen to anyone. And believe me when a powerful colony goes wild it is not funny for anyone in the vicinity.

I will make the point to you again that despite your "quiet" bees and your neighbours and so on it can go spectacularly wrong. And believe me if it does blow up it will be at the worst possible time.

I am not scaremongering, I am being realistic and many newbies read about working colonies that are very rare to sting and have high expectations of such, I had myself on opening my first colony for the first time. I was rapidly disabused of that line of thinking.

They are not toys and can kill.

Geoff it is a matter of thinking ahead and considering neighbourly relations. You obviously consider your neighbours but many don’t.

It is true some strains of bee (for example: New Zealand Italians) can be managed more easily than others as they are very docile. However, even these bees when annoyed can have pop at moving things up to 100m away if really hacked off.

Beekeepers do have to go into hives in less than ideal conditions for effective swarm control and this combined with the above means bees in small gardens are not always a good idea.

Beginners are more likely to make mistakes and get the bees aggravated without realising it. It's not the suited and booted beekeeper bumbling about with their bees that needs protection, but the innocent individual next door.

Hivemaker and Poly Hive have lots of experience in managing bees in less than ideal conditions and their advice is correct. You might want to have bees in the garden but don’t forget the people next door don’t want to get stung.

Beginners simply need to find sites where they can play with their bees without being a danger to the public.
People need to remember that bees are still wild/natural.

In a way the word beekeeper is wrong, you can not "keep" bees in the way you fence in other animals, you are simply providing a location that is slightly better than a tree.

I keep my bees in my garden, but even at 1 acre and only 1 house on one side I still had a problem with my neighbour due to one event.

I had to go to great lengths to move them to the far side of the garden.

But lets not jump to the conclusion that because someone buys an Omlet beehaus they are going to be bad beekeepers....I might by one!!!:svengo:

If these people we are referring to where going to do it, they have every chance now to go buy a hive of bees, in a nice "country cottage style"
To me the problem here is not one of should you or shouldnt you be keeping bees in the garden, its one of scale.
At risk of causing offence to some people it strikes me that the egloo was/is designed to appeal to people who want to play at keeping chickens, providing an easy way to accomodate a couple of birds. As a concept I dont see how it translates to beekeeping.

With chickens you decide how many you want to keep and thats the end of it, a colony of bees is a colony of bees, they decide on the numbers not the beekeeper.

I am fairly convinced already that next year is going to be a year of swarms and loads of second hand kit available on ebay, but at least the majority of this years new beekeepers will have read a book or joined an association. Whats the betting that the bee haus will come with a 12 page instruction manual.

Im sure that not everyone who buys a bee haus will be a bad beekeeper, i just have a feeling that their marketing will be aimed more at the "easy to keep in a small garden"
than any realistic viewpoint.
--> "easy to keep in a small garden" <--

And therein lies the problem; it might be good marketing but there's no mesh to keep the bees near the hive!
Ok so what do you think the minimum distance from houses should be? Now if bees should not be in gardens then surely they should not be on allotments. On a normal sized allotment then the neighbour is going to be at most 5 metres away and allotment sites are wide open with nowhere to hide if things go pear shaped. At least with gardens people can run into houses, and there will be more people out working their plots than in gardens and there are plenty of kids around.
Now some here have supported the idea of bees on allotments but not gardens. My allotment association want me to put bees on the site when they get it established. Now I would use netting to direct flight paths up and make sure the guard bees cannot see other plotholders, but if things go horribly wrong then what is a safe distance?
In the garden it is easier for me to do all these things and I feel happier because i see them several times a day and can monitor their mood by just watching their comings and goings to a certain degree. I wonder if I am correct in my thinking that they get very excited when the queen starts laying. I have noticed that after a new queen has been installed, after a certain period loads of bees pile out of the hive and make quite a racket buzzing up and down above the entrance. After that I always find the first eggs and brood.
I don't think the Omlet should neccesarily encourage rash beekeeping. It would cost £600 for the kit and then the bees which is say another £120. Surely if someone is going to spend £700+ they are more likely to do a little bit of homework first. Its not exactly beekeeping on a budget.
There are lots of new beeks about and it concerns me that some are tolerating bees that they think are normal. One i know always dons his bee suit to mow near the hives. If I had to do that they would get moved out. I would not put them on the land I rent cause that is where i am going to be growing fruit and veg, they would end up round the back of the farm overlooking the silage clamp where they cannot even see the cattle.
Good points,but i would say on allotments,the allotment holders have been consulted,and athough things can still go wrong,they have agreed to take the risks,not risks i would take though by having bee's there..And its not like expecting neighabours to go running indoors when things go wrong, and tolerate someones bee's 24/7, It's not as though people live on the allotments.Lots of people like privacy and peace in there own private garden,not getting buzzed and stung by bee's.
I'm talking about bee's in any type of hive, box,omlet,skep,container,whatever,whether it cost £900 or 70p
Last edited:
>>neighbour is going to be at most 5 metres away and allotment sites are wide open with nowhere to hide if things go pear shaped<<

>>plenty of kids around.<<

Sounds too risky to me. You might be all right but if things go horribly wrong there's no where for people to escape to. There's nothing like an old hot sweaty gardener to play with when you are a pissed off angry bee.

If anything happens to a child ... well it could get interesting..

I don't want to be negative but you do have to think public safety here. The allotment holders don't keep bees so don't know exactly what they are letting themselves in for. You could be all right for years .. you might not.

The important thing is you have to be able to get into the hive as required for effective swarm control. Only you will know whether the apiary site, situation of other allotments and your beekeeping skills will enable this.

My main thought when siting my hives is: "Are the bees safely away from the public?".
Last edited:
I would like to know:

How many beekeepers die from stings?
How many beekeepers die on the road driving to an out apiary?

The notion that bees should never be kept in gardens really says a lot about our risk averse modern mentality. Of course unpleasant stuff can happen with unruly bees, but the risks can be minimised with skill and contingency planning. Yes bees can kill but you are far more likely to die on the road. Why is that more acceptable and considered just bad luck?

(Bizzarely as I was typing this my daughter ran inside shouting "swarm". They've just arrived and gone straight into an empty nuc box. I'm a garden beekeeper again.)

Beehaus is a worrying concept though. If it creates the impression that beekeeping is easy and can be undertaken lightly then it will be a backwards step for UK beekeeping, regardless of the quality of the product itself.

Latest posts