Flight Behavior & Hive Location

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by cojorgensen, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. cojorgensen

    cojorgensen New Member

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    I'm trying to determine the best location on my property for my hives. I've tried to research an answer to this specific question, but have somewhat failed to get as specific an answer that I'm looking for.

    The location where I'd like to place the hives is at least 40-50ft away from the walking paths on my property. We often have guests, and people would walk on these paths. The location is also lightly forested, getting partial shade most of the day. The hives would be near trees. So far, I've only found that common knowledge says that hives placed near trees will encourage the bees to exit up through the foliage of the trees. So far so good.

    However.... the walking paths are *above* the location of the hives (slight hillside that descends to the bottom where the hives would be), which would be below. The hives would be beneath the walking paths, a fair distance away (60ft+).

    My concern: would the bees descend through the upper canopy in a more or less descending fashion, or would they skim underneath the canopy (at more or less ground level) and dive down to the hives in their elevation depressed location?

    Although they're far enough away from the walking paths to not be a danger, it would be psychologically disturbing for our guests/visitors to have returning workers zipping past their heads as they walked the property. I'm hoping that the bee behavior would have the bees descend down through the canopy, and not skim the lower area. The entire are is covered with 50-60ft trees (the surrounding neighborhood), so it would seem to make sense that foraging bees would fly at the canopy level, and then only descend when they were above the hive.

    Any thoughts from your experience on what they might do? Again, just looking to see if the bees would be zipping past people wandering the walking paths.

    Thank you so much!
  2. Ray

    Ray Member

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    IMO, bee's kept in semi-shade tend to fly towards the closest sunshine (warmth). If that is the direction they want to travel, the slowly gain altitude. However if the direction they want to go is through the shade, they tend to fly into the sunshine and then gain altitude while changing direction.
    The direction the entrance is pointed will also effect the bee's flight path. They tend to fly away from the hives entrance and then fly an arc towards their destination.
    ​IMO set your hives and be prepared to adjust as necessary.