Fact Sheet - Keeping Bees

Beekeeping is becoming increasingly popular in towns and cities throughout Queensland. This
provides honey for home consumption, enjoyment in watching these social creatures and the
opportunity to join in amateur beekeeping groups. However, bees possess a sting and therefore
require proper and responsible management so they do not cause a problem for neighbours.
What should I consider before getting
In rural areas, apiaries should not be located within
50m of an adjoining neighbour’s dwellings or school
bus stops.
Council local laws are in place to ensure the keeping of
bees on your property will not have adverse effects on
neighbours and the community. Prior to getting any
bees, contact Council to enquire if restrictions apply to
you. Common restrictions imposed may include:
 the size of the property the bees will be housed
 the number of hives permitted (if any)
Face the entrance of the hives in a direction that bees
fly across your property. If this cannot be readily done
consider placing barriers. These can be in the form of
hedges, shrubs or instant barriers consisting of shade
cloth fixed to a trellis 2-4m high. Bees will fly up and
over these structures and should not worry neighbours.
Biosecurity Queensland also has guidelines for the
management of beekeeping in Queensland. These
 minimum standards to which beekeepers should
 community confidence in the safety of beekeeping
 a guide for the prevention and resolution of
 the prescription for harmonious cooperation
between beekeepers and other land occupiers
On warm to hot nights bees are attracted to lights,
particularly fluorescent. Problems can occur if windows
are not screened properly, so ensure a solid barrier is
erected to prevent light shining on the entrance of the
Water is essential for all forms of life, including bees.
As the temperature increases the number of water
carriers also increases. Water is used in the hive for
cooling via evaporation as well as being a vital part of
the bees’ diet. The provision of water needs to be
considered when placing hives as a natural source
may not be suitable or reliable. If this basic requirement
is overlooked or indeed disappears, bees can become
a nuisance at alternative water sources (e.g. taps, hose
fittings and stock watering points). Bees may die from
the lack of available water so water should be provided
by the beekeeper.
A full copy of these guidelines can be obtained through
Hive placement
The correct placement of hives is an important
consideration for responsible beekeeping. In rural
situations, many issues should be considered to
minimise impact on neighbouring properties, stock or
people. For example - hives adjacent to a property gate
or an apiary close to a dwelling.
Disease and pest control
Beekeepers must control pests and diseases to remain
viable and not infect other beekeepers’ hives. Further
information is available from Apiary Officers.
Beekeepers should be cautious about mixing or
purchasing hive equipment unless the disease status is
In urban situations, the hives must be in a quiet area of
the allotment and not directly against the neighbouring
property unless a solid fence or impenetrable
vegetative barrier (no less than 2m high) forms the
property boundary. Keep hives as far away from roads,
footpaths and parks as possible.
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