Help, My Beehive Fell Over!

As the wheel of the year turns, safeguarding your hives from the whims of the weather can become a challenging task. Unforeseen circumstances can arise, and as dedicated beekeepers, our mission is to ensure our buzzing buddies are as comfortable as possible.

After you’ve winterized your hive and nourished your bees, your next priority should be to shield your hives from the wind. Powerful gusts can wreak havoc on a hive, with extreme wind conditions potentially decimating an entire bee colony in a matter of hours.

If your beehive topples over, immediate action is crucial to rescue your buzzing buddies. Stick with me as we delve into the issue of falling beehives and explore innovative solutions to rectify the situation!

The Peril of Falling Beehives

Those residing in expansive areas know all too well how a gusty day can make your furnace work overtime. Your neighbors, whose homes are shielded by trees or hedges, might not even notice the difference.

In many instances, your hives will already be safeguarded if you’ve strategically placed them behind a natural windbreak to shield them from the harsh winter winds. However, if you weren’t able to find a naturally protected spot for your hives, you’ll need to construct an artificial windbreak.

You can create a temporary windbreak, or if you’re feeling crafty, construct a robust, permanent one. Some beekeepers suggest using hay bales, but beware, they might attract mice and other hive predators. A couple of sections of privacy fence are an effective, affordable, and easily removable option. If you decide to leave them up, they can last for several years.

Windbreak Guidelines

No matter what type of windbreak you choose, there are some guidelines to follow to ensure it’s sturdy and effective, providing optimal protection for your buzzing buddies:

  • Ensure your windbreak is at least 30 centimeters (1 foot) taller than the hive.
  • Position your windbreak 1,2 – 1,8 m (4-6 feet) behind the hive. This is to protect your bees from the most brutal prevailing winds, while also considering the occasional winds blowing from the opposite direction. If the windbreak is too close, these non-prevailing winds could be directed through the bottom of the hive. 
  • For similar reasons, the top of your windbreak should be slightly farther from the hive than the bottom. This will direct non-prevailing winds up and over the windbreak, preventing excessive air turbulence around the hive.

The ultimate windbreak would be a three or four-sided block, shielding your hive from winds coming from all directions. However, this might not always be practical or necessary.

What To Do When Your Beehive Falls Over

Wild honeybees often build hives in hollow trees. If the tree splits and falls, the hive is exposed, and the same can happen with artificial hives. However, there are a few quick fixes you can implement to ensure the safety of your honey bees.

When your hive topples over, it’s time to spring into action. Suit up in your full beekeeping gear and carefully lift the hive, taking care not to further distress your bees, who may already be in defensive mode.

Once you’ve successfully righted your hive, check for any visible damage. If there is damage, you’ll need to repair it immediately. If there’s no visible damage, inspect the inside and repeat the process. After you’ve inspected and repaired your hive, you’ll need to think of a temporary solution until you can acquire the necessary supplies.

A simple brick on the top lid of your hive is unlikely to withstand wind conditions above 50mph. A lidless hive can cause problems for your bees by increasing moisture levels and allowing vital heat to escape. Instead, consider strapping the lid down with ratchet straps or securing it with duct tape.

Next, ensure that the hives are on sturdy stands or completely level ground. Strong winds can easily topple entire beehives, especially if they’re placed in elevated locations.

If your hive is on tall or unstable stands, you’ll need to relocate them to a dry, level spot to reduce the risk of toppling. Remember, if you’re using solid bottom boards, your hives should tilt forward to prevent rainwater from pooling on the floor of your hive.

Once your hive is securely positioned, be mindful of falling trees and branches. These can pose a significant threat to beehives, potentially crushing the equipment and wiping out the entire colony.

Preventing this can be challenging due to the sheer weight of trees. So, if your hives are in a wooded area, you may need to temporarily relocate them.

Also, ensure your hive isn’t in low-lying or flood-prone areas. Riverbanks can be ideal locations for beehives due to their freshwater resources, but in flood conditions, they can obliterate an entire hive and its colony.


As a beekeeper, a fallen hive can leave you feeling helpless, guilty, or neglectful. But remember, you’re not alone. Many of us have been there!

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that unforeseen circumstances happen. As superhero beekeepers, it’s our duty to swoop in, rescue our distressed bees, and provide them with what they need in that moment. Remember, it’s all about learning and adapting. I hope you found this guide helpful!

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