I am looking to get into beekeeping. I have a plot of land ~20x50m that I would like to put some hives on. There are multiple nearby fields with horses - minimum distance ~ 50m to nearest such field.

Would there be any problems with getting the bees with regards to the horses? Would the neighbours be likely to be aggravated by the introduction of bees? Are the horses likely to be hurt by bees? Would the law forbid keeping of bees near to horses?

I have found this site: http://www.beekeeping.org.uk/bee_law.pdf which suggests a beekeeper HAS been held accountable for bees resulting in a death, but supposedly the beekeeper behaved unreasonably, so I am unsure how relevant it would be. I haven't been able to find any more such cases

  • Is this question asking for a prediction about the behavior of some unspecified neighbors? That seems both unrelated to sustainability and impossible to answer. Maybe you could re-frame this so that instead the question is about techniques for introducing beekeeping (which I suppose might be sustainability related because honey bees are important pollinators for certain flowers and because local honey production might be more sustainable than alternatives) without creating conflict with neighbors. Oct 4, 2018 at 12:25
  • If you have a good idea for rephrasing, please suggest an edit. I wasn't sure how to ask this question, as it isn't just about talking to neighbours - if that was the case, I would have posted this in Interpersonal Skills. I am interested in bringing in bees as a strategy for sustainability, but I want to be sure it won't be detrimental to the horses or the neighbours. Oct 4, 2018 at 13:15
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    No way would bee keeping be a problem for horses. Bees don't attack animals. They sting only to protect themselves. If you've got a neighbor who is truly allergic to a bee sting, then, sigh, that would be a problem. That is rare btw, akin to a peanut allergy sadly deadly. Horses have to deal with biting flies, horse flies that are far worse than any bee. Someone would have to throw a saddle blanket on a horse and in the act accidentally cover a bee to get a bee to sting a horse. Becoming a bee keeper is a very big deal, a very cool deal. Costs some bucks not to mention the cool outfit!
    – stormy
    Oct 7, 2018 at 6:56
  • Learning how to keep bees, you will most certainly learn about how bees affect your neighbors. Actually you will be way more interested in how your neighbors affect your hives! Just one neighbor using powdered Sevin in their garden could kill your entire hive over night.
    – stormy
    Oct 7, 2018 at 6:58

1 Answer 1


If your local laws allow you to keep bees on your property, then you can keep bees, end of discussion. Your neighbor's horses don't come into consideration.

If you don't want your beekeeping to affect your neighbors or their horses, keep this in mind. Bees routinely travel up to 3.2km (or even further) in search of food and water.

If your neighbor's field provides the closest source of water (for the horses), the bees are going to go there. Provide your bees a great source of water on your own plot so they don't have to visit your neighbors.

Again, if your neighbor's field provides plants that the bees are more strongly attracted to than what you have on your own plot, the bees are going to go there. Plant your plot with a mixed array of native wildflowers. You can actually influence the honey your bees produce by what you plant.

Finally, in the USA there are grants and technical assistance available to become beekeepers. Perhaps there are similar programs available in your area.

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