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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Southwest Florida and will soon be starting a hive or two in my backyard. The only place on my property available for the hives is in the deep, permanent shade of some large oak trees. Winters here are very mild and summers are hot and humid. Cold weather isn't an issue.
Will the hive be alright if the sun never shines on it, even in Florida?
 

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Hi Fiddler:

First, let me welcome you to the forum :hi: You have found a friendly place to learn from folks that don't mind sharing. :mrgreen:

I guess one of my first questions (and I am positive there are beeks on the forum here in your area that can better answer you goegraphically wise) is whether you have Small Hive Beetle in your area. If they are there, you may be fighting a constant battle with them. I am not too familiar with the beetle but one of the things I have picked up is that they thrive in shade.
Up north (Canada) the beetle is not a problem (yet) and I have seen hives located in bush areas where they may only get a couple hours of direct sun at best!
 

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Welcome to the forum! I have seen a couple of bee yards that are in full shade and the keeps say they have no issues. You may see an increase in small hive beetle activity versus having them in direct sunlight. I am sure others will chime in....
 

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Welcome to the forum Fiddler :wave:

I'm a first year keep and I found that full sun helps with SHB,after moving my colonies to a sunny location the SHB are almost non-existent.

We have an active member near you Zookeep is in Sarasota.
 

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I have some colonies in full shade and haven't had any issues with them. Keep the bottom boards nice and clean and a AJ's beetle eater in the top of the hive near the center and you shouldn't ever have any problems with beetles.
 

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no sun equals lots and lots of SHBs here, I used to keep my hives in a mixed sun shade area and was always killing the SHBs now Im in full sun and looking into the 12 hives in my back yard alone I found just 2 beetles, if your buying packages of bees make sure they are aggressive to SHBs or your hives here in south florida are gonna be a mess, also the area under your hive should have as little growing as possible and be more dry sand then dirt so if a few beetle larva do make it they hit the sand and die.
 

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Welcome Fiddler! In Florida shade equals small hive beetles. Fight, fight, fight beetles or find a better location. Ask botanical gardens, gardening clubs, local colleges, the local beekeepers club down there, and anyone and everyone that likes the outdoors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey, thanks for all the nice greetings and info!
I've already learned something. I had no idea such a creature as the small hive beetle even existed.
I guess I'll have to re-think my hive location.
 

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It strikes me that most wild bee trees would be in the shade. Makes me wonder how wild colonies deal with SHB.
 

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They start at the top and keep the nest packed tight with bees to the bottom. SHB thrive in areas where bees aren't. Keep a full box and the SHB don't do well. Let empty areas accumulate, and the SHB will explode.
 

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Like iddee said above. I have some hives in parcel shade and i find 4 or 5 shb in them at times (never lost a hive to them Yet.) I had a strong hive that was in total shade and they were hard to work, (mean) my old time beekeeper buddy was with me one time and said if i would move them out in the sun it would calm them down.It took 4 moves (about 3 ft. at a time) to get them in the sun and he was right :thumbsup: Anyone else ever done or noticed this :confused: .That was 5 years ago and i've not had a problem with that hive since,of corse i requeened it a couple years ago, but before that i never had another problem with their mean side. :mrgreen: Jack
 

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The meanest hive I have is in full shade, but I don't think that's indicative of anything because the hives next to it that are also in full shade are as calm as can be. The mean hive has always been mean, even when they were in full shade in my previous bee yard, they were the only hive to survive a bear attack and I think the only reason they survived was because they were mean. Ever since then I've had a renewed appreciation for mean bees.
 

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As they say: "Grin and bear it" :lol:
 
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