Cover your butt legally: post signs near your apiary

Have you ever had legal issues concerning your bees? Perhaps someone was stung and they’re ‘deathly allergic.’ I’m going to show you how you can ‘cover your butt’ legally by taking some very simple and affordable steps.

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this is a no trespassing sign designed specifically for apiaries
I really like this sign because it does 4 things: 1) Warns and cautions, 2) clearly states No Trespassing, and 3) encourages a respect for pollinators’ work, and 4) states who operates the apiary (which I still need to do). Photo by Jonathan Hargus©

The last thing any beekeeper needs is legal action taken against them due to a bee sting. Everyone who has ever talked to me about bees being in their yard or near their house has told me their kids will die if they get stung.

Here are 2 simple steps that you can take to protect yourself from the circumstance or ignorance or negligence of others.


Step 1- Post ‘No Trespassing’ Signs

There are many different styles of ‘no tresspassing’ signs on the market. The two links below lead to excellent signs for apiaries because they do
4 things:

1) Warn and caution

2) Clearly state ‘No Trespassing’

3) Encourages a respect for pollinators’ work

They are printed in black and yellow; very eye-catching colors.

These signs can be mounted on a pressure-treated post and then that post can be ‘concreted’ into a small bucket so that it is moveable and won’t fall over.


Step 2- Get written permission

If you’re maintaining an apiary on property other than your own, getting written permission from the land owner could help you in big ways.

One of the reasons for this is because if you have an apiary on another’s property, they may have renters, landscapers, or even family come over.

There are people that do not understand that keeping a safe distance from an apiary is in their best interest.

Having written permission from the property owner not only protects you but it protects them as well.

Written permission is a legal contract saying that both parties involved understand the risk and potential of being stung by a bee and have agreed to those terms.


Step 3- Take pictures

This is the easiest step. After you have posted your signs about your apiary, take pictures and make sure the date stamp is on. Then save this picture somewhere to keep it just in case.

Having the date stamp will help support the fact of when you posted warning signs and demonstrate that you took proper precautions for everyone’s safety.


Disclaimer– This post is meant to give you simple and affordable methods for covering yourself legally in regards to your apiary. It is not meant to be real legal advice an any way because I’m a beekeeper, not a lawyer.

I recommend getting your own sign and posting it even on your own property. Laws are crazy these days and tend to protect stupidity rather than discourage it.

If you’ve already taken your own action for warning others around your apiary, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.


In the meantime, I think you would really enjoy checking out my new children’s picture book (it’s educational too!) Get your own copy below and teach your tykes the importance of wildflowers for our pollinators. Thanks!!

Until next time remember,

~Weeds are Wildflowers, let them Bee!~

Jonathan Hargus/Beekeeper Extraordinaire

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