University of California
Beekeeping in San Diego County

Step 9

Learn and conduct proper hive maintenance

9 Maint

Healthy honey bee hives require constant monitoring, cleaning, and an easily accessible food source.

  • Setting and following a consistent hive inspection schedule is important to recognizing changes or threats to your honey bee colonies, so that you can take action to keep your colonies thriving.

  • Always insure that there is adequate and accessible food, nutrition and clean water available for your honey bees. Depending on your hive location, providing food supplements or installing a water source may be necessary.

  • Inspect for any pests or diseases attacking your hives. Take steps to mitigate if necessary, including hive and support structural repairs or modifications.

  • Pay attention to bee colony behavior and take steps to re-queen if or when you see an increase in agitation or defensive levels. Plan to re-queen annually to limit your colonies becoming Africanized.

  • Consider bee colony expansion and be prepared to start new hives or make other arrangements to manage expanding colonies before they swarm.

  • Be vigilant about fire safety. Maintain the space surrounding your hives clean and clear of plants, weeds and grasses, debris and other items that may ignite and spread a fire.


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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