Establishing an Apiary

working bees
  • Income

Should I agree to placement of an urban apiary on your property, you will be entitled to 30% of all honey harvested if you live within 10km radius of Emmarentia Johannesburg and 15% if you live outside that area. The difference is related to transport and time costs in managing the apiary.

  • Essential conditions

Do not consider placing a hive on your property should you use insecticides in your garden or farm. Depending on the location of an apiary, a beekeeper may have to consider whether or not a farmer or his neighbours is likely to spray crops with something harmful to bees. Therefore, this should be a question that is asked of any farmer or land owner who allows hives to be placed on his/her land. You should ask them to call you a week or so before they begin to spray so that the hives can moved to another location.

Animal Safety

  • Domestic animals and especially dogs should be taken into consideration when placing a hive. Dogs will wander close to the hives and also are more prone to snapping at insects and will often get stung.

  • If hives are sighted on a farm, it is important to consider what farm animals (if any) may have access to the apiary.

  • Smaller stock animals such as goats and sheep tend not to interfere with hives however, larger animals such as cows, horses and donkeys can easily knock over a hive.

  • If a hive is knocked over the resultant angry bees will seriously harm the animal and even if the animal gets away, the bee colony may die (particularly in cold, wet conditions) if the hive isn’t put back together quite quickly.

  • If the apiary is to be sited permanently on a farm where livestock may gain access at some stage, or near a home where children visitors or domestic animals may get into close proximity, a barrier should be erected by the beekeeper.

Group of bees

People Safety

People Safety
  • Before placing any bees in your own garden, consider the reaction of your neighbours. Some people may not mind living next to a few beehives providing there is enough distance or a high enough fence or hedge to keep the bees away.

  • However, many people will be alarmed to find they have bees just on the other side of the fence. Some will also fear for the safety of their children and occasionally you may find a neighbour suffers severe allergic reactions to bee stings and won’t take kindly to having hives next door.

  • Hoping they won’t notice is something that shouldn’t be relied on as the moment they do notice (and they will) might lead to a fine from the city or a summons.

  • Bees are very sensitive to alarm pheromone (the odors, which they release from their sting gland and glands located in the head when they are alarmed) and once bees have been stimulated, they are also much more likely to respond in group attacks.

  • During such attacks, large quantities will sting anything in sight that is moving and may pursue a source of disturbance for up to a kilometre.