Hive location . . .

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by J.E.Johnson, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. J.E.Johnson

    J.E.Johnson New Member

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    Hello again! I have another question (I'm sure I'll be posting plenty in the next few months) . . . Does the location of your hive matter? Should I put it in partial shade; full sun? In a higher spot or a lower spot in my yard? Facing in a certain direction? Anyways, you guys get the idea, I think: newbie here who needs some guidance ;). Oh, and I'm not sure if this matters, but my particular hive is a top bar hive. Thanks again!
    -Jenna
     
  2. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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    Welcome to the forum, The placement of your hive can be an important part of its managment. Full sun helps fight insect pest and helps the hive get an early start in the mornings as it will warm up sooner. A hive in the shade implies a tree nearby in most cases and it may be damaged by falling fruit and limbs. As far as a high or low spot in your yard, both will work as long as the hive is not exposed to high or constant winds or the low spot is not subject to flooding. In some geo locations wind is a fact of life, so provide a wind break of some kind and face the hive entrance so that the winds don't blow in the front door. Most say to face the entrance to the east to catch the morning sun but that may not mke that big a deal. Hope this helps. I'm sure someone will be along with better and more complete information. Good Luck, have fun and be safe Jim
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    J.E:

    A fellow member here, Adam Foster Collins is an experienced TBH keeper up here in Nova Scotia. He can probably provide some good advice, maybe shoot him a pm. He has built some with windows in them so he can watch the bees year round.
     
  4. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Jenna:
    Welcome to the friendliest bee forum around. You have come to the right place to have all your questions answered.
    We have another new member, Big Bear, he's very experienced with TBH's also.
    Again, Welcome.
     
  5. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Bsweet hit it on the head. Bees will work sooner in the morning, work longer in the evening, earlier in the spring, and later in the fall, when in full sun. Just being able to break cluster or keep the hive warm with fewer bees can mean higher honey yields and impact the bees ablity to go do more housecleaning and items to keep the hive healthy. As a beekeeper, I think it is easier to deal with hot weather by propping the lid or providing extra ventilation during the few hot summer months. And then by having the bees as warm as possible the rest of the year. Sunny locations can make huge difference in spring, and in colder climates throughout the year when a few sunny days makes all the difference in winter survival for bees being able to break cluster, collect food, take cleansing flights, etc.

    All the old books written by oldtimers said morning sun and afternoon shade. Who wanted to work bees in the sun if they didn't need too? But that was before mites, SHB, and other disease and pests that keep most hives from reaching full potential. Today, full sun allows bees to better deal with SHB and other impacts of the hives.

    Here is some info on top bar hives:
    http://www.bjornapiaries.com/topbarbeekeeping.html

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Hi Jenna. I don't know about your weather where you live, but I am guessing you don't get the heavy winter weather like many others here may. If you are near the coast you probably get the Santa Ana winds from the east (?) which can be hot and dry. At other times you may get the wet colder winds which blow off the ocean. Much depends on the surrounding environment of where you keep the hives as to how much wind they receive. I would provide some kind of wind break to protect them if you get alot of these winds, and always provide fresh clean water if the drier winds keep things dried out. More than likely the direct sun is not as hot there as it is here in Texas and would be helpful for pest issues as Bjornbee pointed out.
     
  7. J.E.Johnson

    J.E.Johnson New Member

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    Thanks guys! Yes, we get the occassional Santa Ana winds, and of late we've had some pretty good winter storms (only a few days of strong winds). I do wonder if our summers will make my bees grumpy (June Gloom around here; fog rolls in before sunrise and doesn't burn off until noon or so). I think one advantage we have living on this particular spot on the coast is the Eucalyptus trees (flowers for winter :D). I'll be sure to consult the books I ordered and talk to other local beekeepers as well. Thanks again!
    -Jenna
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    might I guess that you are some what near the bay area?


    I have read reports by some bay area bee keepers that location can be a very important first decision with great variation in results only being separated by a few miles. we do have at least one bay are bee keeper on this board so it might behoove you to confer with some very local very local information.

    welcome to this board and the world of bee keeping...