University of California
Beekeeping in San Diego County

Step 5

Know your safety procedures

5 Safety

Be prepared. Poor safety habits can lead to painful or costly consequences.

Understand and follow the beekeeping ordinances for your hive/s location. Safety for all is the primary reason they were established.

  • Be sure to register your hives with the County Agricultural Commissioner’s office. It is a State law and will allow authorities to keep you informed of educational opportunities, potential pesticide, pest or disease threats and/or new policies that may impact you and your hives such as a new sensitive site.

  • Obtain and maintain in good working order proper clothing and equipment for beekeeping.

  • Having fire prevention and safety equipment readily accessible is critical, especially in southern California due to the high wildfire-hazard environment.

  • Talk with your neighbors to inform them about your honey bee hive/s. Sharing your beekeeping objectives will educate them about honey bees, limit misconceptions about your bee hives and honey bees and help people and pets stay safe in your neighborhood.

  • Be prepared to promptly re-queen should your colony begins to show increased defensive behavior. Until the new queen is well established and the colony exhibits calmer behavior, consider posting signs around your property to encourage neighbors to take extra caution while in the vicinity.

  • Be sure you have adequate insurance coverage to protect you and your property, should a harmful stinging or other liable incident related to your honey bees and hives occur.

Visit the following sections on this site for more information related to beekeeping safety:

Bee Biology and Behavior

Africanized  Honey Bee

Equipment and Maintenance

Laws and Policies


Sensitive Sites

Bee Safety



This site provides education and outreach to the public and beekeepers to protect public safety within San Diego County in response to the the new apiary ordinance. The site has been developed by the University of California Cooperative Extension - Farm and Home Advisers Office in San Diego County with support from the San Diego County - Agriculture, Weights, and Measures Office.

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