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Budget Prep: Bee Hive Defense

You Don't Have to Harvest Bees to Reap the Benefits

Lowering your cache into a pond.

Decoy bee hives.

Photograph by Rick Austin and Survivor Jane, Aleven Goats Media, Inc.

Inspired by prepper John Tucker's mobile bee bug out apiary, but lack the resources and know-how to build, maintain, and transport bee hives? We're bringing you budget versions of the preps inspired by our very own Season Three Prepper builds.

Protecting Your Family

Your family is your most important asset followed by food, water, and protection (not necessarily in that order). Most preppers have contingencies in place to safeguard these assets, for instance, a bug-out-vehicle to flee your home should you face impending danger. 

But, what if you had a bee apiary? (That’s a bee yard with honey bee hives for those who don’t speak beekeeper.) Most wouldn’t even consider packing up their honey bee hives and bugging-out with them. But you could use those same honey bees as a perimeter defense. Even if you don’t have bees, decoy hives with warning signs are a viable option to create the illusion of a threat, and therefore a great deterrent.

Why Bees?

Eletric fences can be compromised.

Photograph by Rick Austin and Survivor Jane, Aleven Goats Media, Inc.

Sure, you may have signs posted everywhere on your property warning of your big vicious guard dogs, but unfortunately those dogs can be shot or poisoned by a would-be intruder. Or, maybe you have a high-tech electrical perimeter fence. That too can be compromised. But it’s a known fact that people fear honey bees. And for good reason … their sting.

Here’s a little Honey Bee 101. Honey bees are relatively docile, unless provoked. And by provoked we mean, you come too close to their box, disturb it or physically harm the bee itself. Then, all bets are off. The bee will sting you, and at the same time release a pheromone - kinda like calling out the Cavalry - that will let all the other bees know they are under siege. This is when the trouble begins. It’s not one little ol’ honey bee people are afraid of - it’s a swarm of bees - or in the case of an empty box, the thought of a swarm of bees. A single buzzing bee can make the biggest, meanest, toughest marauder turn and high-tail it off your property.

Here, we will demonstrate how the placement of a few decoy hive boxes and some “thought-provoking” warning signs could make someone “reconsider” their decision to proceed further onto your property 

The Steps:

You only need one hive body, a bottom board and top cover to make a decoy bee hive, which can be purchased from a bee supply retailer either assembled and non-assembled fairly inexpensively. Or if you are handy and have the time, you can make one fairly simply as well.  Paint the box white to have a uniform “bee hive” look.  

  1. Place bottom board on level surface to prepare for assembly.

  2. Add hive body.

  3. Add top cover for a decoy hive.

  4. Insert the frames into the hive.

  5. Frame and wax foundation. This is not necessary for a decoy hive, but simply if you would like the added benefit of an active bee hive.

  6. Drawn honeycomb. (Again, not necessary for the decoy).

  7. You can use 4 cement blocks stacked two by two in a location that will stop intruders in their tracks to hold your bee box.

  8. If you are using a decoy bee hive, as an added measure, you could leave sugar cubes, honey, or even sugar-water inside the empty box. This will attract real bees and wasps that will fly in and out of the box for the feed and will give your decoy box the “look” of an active bee hive.

  9. By using a sticky substance (such as Tanglefoot) around the outside of the stand supporting the box, it will keep ants and other crawling insects from trying to consume the sweet substance you put inside.

  10. Use a putty knife to spread a sticky substance around the stand supporting the box.

  11. For added measure, put a bee warning sign up, so that is it visible with the box in the background.  

Now get beezy!

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