How far in distance must honey bees be from a house or residence?

Asked August 12, 2014, 11:14 PM EDT

How far in distance must honey bees be from a house or residence?

Sumner County Tennessee beekeeping lrk

1 Response

There is no law in Tennessee regulating the distance a hive should be located in relation to a house or residence. For more information, click on this link to the Tennessee Apiary Act.

However, recently the Tennessee Apiarist published best management practices for beekeepers. The guidelines do not explicitly say that a colony should be x distance from any house. But they do state that as long as your colonies are 200 feet or more from an occupied dwelling, you can keep any number of colonies. When the hives are closer than 200 feet, you should limit the number of colonies based on the size of your property. If your colonies are within 50 feet of a neighbor's home, a barrier like a hedge row or fence should be used to force the bees high in the air. None of these practices apply to colonies in relation to your own home.

These are suggestions and not regulations, but as a conscientious beekeeper, you should take measures to prevent negative perceptions in the community and to protect yourself again civil liability. For more information, see Voluntary Honey Bee Best Management Practices Policy.