University of California
Beekeeping in San Diego County

Apiary Location and Installation



Ideally, beehives should be located on firm dry land with good drainage nearby a fresh water source. Level the hive so that the front of the hive is slightly lower than the back, so that any rainwater drains out of the hive. If possible, locate the hive South East, with the entrance to the East, so that bees receive the morning sun and partial afternoon shade. In addition, shelter the hive from strong winds.


It is important to make sure that the flight path of your bees will not cross public or sensitive areas, such as playgrounds, sidewalks or areas that may affect non-beekeeping residents. Be sure to carefully check the municipal and/or County code for the jurisdiction where you plan to install hives. Comply with all requirements and allowances for hive placement, flyover barriers, fire breaks and sensitive sites to avoid being cited and fined.

Jurisdiction Finder and Code Information

 Photo Credit: Ben DiAnna


Transporting Hives


There will most likely be times when hives will need to be relocated. Reasons for doing so may be to provide a variety of floral plant nutrition, colony expansion, to meet food production pollination needs or to be in compliance with jurisdiction regulations.


When moving hives from one location to another, do so when the weather is calm (e.g. no rain or wind) and transport during the night to keep colony stress at a minimum. Keep them well contained either by covering or transporting them in an enclosed trailer or truck bed.


Photo Credit: Ben DiAnna

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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