Welcome to our guide to the latest and greatest backyard apiary ideas.
If you’re thinking about getting into beekeeping or you’re already a seasoned pro, you know you’ll need a place to house these incredible creatures.
What you might not know is that there is a vast array of styles, shapes, and sizes for you to choose from.
No longer are we confined to simple, plainly designed boxes for beekeeping. To put it bluntly, there are enclosures to fit virtually any tastes, and any yard for that matter.
To begin with, it all depends on the size and layout of your yard. If you’ve got a sprawling lawn with plenty of open room, you can pretty much choose from any style and size apiary out there. In this case, the world is your oyster, or honeycomb even!
Let’s get the gritty details out of the way first. Beehive houses, or apiaries, are almost always constructed of natural wood materials. A few of the examples below use bamboo and some employ other materials, like shingles or bricks, to accessorize and solidify.
Most of our examples are homemade solutions that can be put together over a long weekend using saws, hammers, and drills, as far as tools go.
The few ready-made apiaries on our list are accompanied by product links to purchase if you’re interested. Prices generally range below $50, which is great because they tend to last only a year or two.
If you’re interested in taking up the hobby of beekeeping, you’ll want to consult guides online or at your local library. It can be as casual or intensive as you like, depending on what you want to get out of it. If you just want bees around for pollination, simply providing a nice home will do. If you’re looking to harvest honey, things understandably get more complicated.
We hope you enjoy our selection of handsome apiaries and feel inspired for your own backyard beekeeping projects!
Find more backyard ideas in our definitive guide to backyards!
This old fashioned bee house is large enough to hold an abundance of hives, and looks perfect in a traditional garden setting. The siding makes it resemble a small house, which is a cohesive look for one of these boxes.
As they say, variety is the spice of life. The texturally and colorfully varied boxes here make a nice set of bee houses that are easy on the eyes and fun to interact with.
If you’ve got a large yard and plenty of open space, you might want to consider houses like this for your beekeeping duties. The bright colors and uniform designs make them perfect for large colonies, and convenient to access.
Here’s one of our favorite beekeeping designs, a fully fleshed out miniature cabin style house with colorful pull-out drawers for observation. The structure features stylistic embellishments and tiny windows, in addition to a sturdy roof.
This design is a rather substantial beekeeping solution, with a lengthy overhang designed to protect the hives as well as the dry clothes of anyone attending them. The multicolored facade features fun paintings over each hive, with pull-out access for observation.
If you’re into beekeeping and enjoy the charms of rustic design, this setup might be the solution for your backyard. Each home features a slightly different design, but each offers easy observation and a suitably tough roof for longevity.
Bright colors and clean edges signal that this beekeeping box is perfect for close inspection in smaller yards. The handsome look makes it a perfect companion to a colorful garden or your carefully tended fence. A metal topped roof makes for increased security.
This box exudes rustic charm, with a moss covered roof and old tarnished wood paneling. We’re not sure if it’s a great spot to harvest honey, but it could be the ideal casual bee home in your backyard.
Nestled on the edge of an apple farm, these intricately detailed bee houses feature bright pastel colors and delicately styled facades. The miniature houses feature metal roofs for protection and easy access.
If you’ve got a sprawling backyard, or even a small grove of fruit trees, a setup like this can be ideal. The varying colors helps the houses stand out amidst the greenery, and the large size takes advantage of the ample space.
Similar to the project above, this set of multicolored apiaries could be the optimal solution for your backyard if you’ve got plenty of room. With full roofs and easy access, they’re as convenient as they are handsome.
This apiary is probably one of the most unique on our list, with delicate painting details on its surface making for a playful presence in any yard. The construction features a large hinged top half for convenient access.
Here’s another set of relatively large beehive boxes, standing as a great example of what can be done in a properly sized yard. The large doors and lift-off lids make for easy access, while the bright colors help them stand out.
If you’ve got old but good condition wood panels lying around, a bee house like this would be relatively easy to complete. Set atop some cinder blocks, it’ll keep a fresh, cool, and dry place for hives to flourish.
This lengthy, low-set box is perfect for convenience and style, with a light blue paint that would stand out well in any yard and an ease of access for observation and honey collection.
This idea is fantastic, one of the most organic and subtle boxes yet. Carved from existing tree stumps, they offer a truly organic place for the bees to build hives, while simple roofs constructed from old fence panels offer protection from the elements.
These colorful file cabinet-like designs are a great modular idea for your growing apiary operation. The individual drawer components can be added and stacked as your hives grow, while offering convenient access for observation and honey harvesting.
Here’s a simple setup that can be completed by purchasing individual modular apiary segments. The pieces resemble file cabinet drawers and can be stacked as high as you like, then topped with a roof.
Here’s another example of careful placement of apiaries. If you’ve got thick foliage in your yard, it could be the perfect opportunity for stealthy placement. The bees love flowering plants and greenery alike.
With a more open yard, there’s opportunity for more colorful, attractive apiaries. Designs like this combine the practicality of those above with a sense of style, blasting color across the green lawn.
Here’s a great example of a smaller beekeeping operation. With a single beehive house placed next to shrubbery at the edge of a garden, it’s a sweet location for bees to conjure up honey.
This uniquely organic-looking bee house is made from bamboo, guaranteed to last at least a year or two. The main draw is that it’ll blend in with the natural environment better than most artificial hives, looking almost natural-shaped. Learn more here.
This adorably house-shaped bee enclosure is a stunning natural wood creation, with slatted surfaces that resemble an actual home. The gently sloped roof is topped by a metal shield to ensure no leaks, and the individual trays can be removed for inspection. Learn more here.
If all natural construction is your thing, this box might be the perfect backyard bee companion. There are multiple layers of materials inside, including cut logs and pine cones for various other insect types. The small size means it can fit virtually anywhere. Learn more here.
This handsome pair of colorful bee enclosures comprises a set of easily removable boxes for you to inspect and clean the hives. Standing atop a reclaimed pallet, it can be placed virtually anywhere. (Source: Jordan Schwartz / Flickr)
This high rise bee house is designed to fit up against a tree or beneath an overhang in a slim, unobtrusive way. The various sized holes are perfect for valuable bees to live in, and the sloped roof ensures that it’s free of water damage. Learn more here.
The Eco Bee Box is a modular system that allows you to stack multiple miniature bee homes on a single pole, sized exactly as you prefer. The system is great for keeping the insects comfortable and happy, as well as harvesting honey. Learn more here.
Our final bee house is the perfect way for you to observe your hives in relative safety and privacy, with observation windows built in. The natural wood construction is a handsome presence in any yard. Learn more here.
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