Common beekeeping myths

Beekeeping has gained popularity in recent years as people recognise the importance of honeybees for pollination and the production of honey. However, along with the rising interest in backyard beekeeping, several myths and misconceptions have emerged. In this post, we will debunk some common beekeeping myths.

Brood inspection

Myth: Bees are aggressive and will sting you for no reason.

Fact: This is one of the most prevalent myths surrounding bees. In reality, bees are generally docile creatures that only sting when they feel threatened or their hive is disturbed. Proper beekeeping practices, such as wearing protective clothing and using smoke to calm the bees, greatly reduce the chances of stings.

Myth: Keeping bees requires a large area of land.

Fact: Contrary to popular belief, bees can thrive in various environments, including urban settings and small backyards. While it is true that bees require access to food sources, they can find ample nectar and pollen even in urban areas. With proper hive placement and management, beekeeping can be successfully practised in limited spaces. Below is a beehive at Ian’s home in Camberwell, which has a small backyard.

Beehive at inner city property

Myth: You need extensive knowledge of bees before starting beekeeping.

Fact: While it is important to educate yourself about beekeeping practices, you don’t need to be an expert before starting. Joining local beekeeping associations, attending beginner courses, or seeking guidance from experienced beekeepers will provide the necessary knowledge and support to embark on your beekeeping journey. Our personal favourite course is Flow Hive’s online beekeeping course. It’s perfect for beginners and will provide you with the information needed to kickstart your beekeeping journey. Click here to learn more.

Myth: Honey production begins immediately after starting beekeeping.

Fact: Honey production requires time and patience. Bees need to establish their colony, build up enough, and accumulate enough resources before surplus honey production can occur. It typically takes at least one year for a new hive to produce surplus honey, so new beekeepers should be prepared for a waiting period.


Myth: Bees will swarm and take over the neighbourhood.

Fact: Swarming is a natural process by which bees reproduce and establish new colonies. However, with proper hive management and regular inspections, the risk of swarming can be controlled. Swarming bees are typically focused on finding a new home and are unlikely to pose a threat or become a nuisance to the neighbourhood.

Myth: Bees need constant supplemental feeding with sugar water or supplements.

Fact: Bees primarily rely on natural nectar and pollen sources for their nutrition. While supplemental feeding may be necessary during periods of scarcity, such as winter, it is not a year-round requirement. Providing a diverse range of flowering plants in your vicinity will ensure a natural food source for the bees.

Myth: Beekeeping is a low-maintenance hobby.

Fact: Beekeeping requires regular inspections, hive management, and monitoring for diseases and pests. It is a responsibility that demands time, effort, and continuous learning. Beekeepers should be prepared to dedicate the necessary attention to ensure the health and well-being of their bees.

Bee hive in large garden

As interest in beekeeping grows, it is essential to debunk the common myths surrounding this rewarding hobby. By dispelling misconceptions and spreading accurate information, aspiring beekeepers can approach the practice with confidence and make informed decisions. Remember, joining local beekeeping associations, attending educational programs, and seeking guidance from experienced beekeepers are crucial steps to ensure successful beekeeping endeavours.