tec said: "there is no 'proper' placement except in England where all beekeepers follow the rules and are very proper!"
PerryBee replies: Expect a response from Barbarian soon! :lol:
Depending on how many hives you are talking about, a few in a row is alright, if you are talking many more, sometimes moving some forward or backward or changing the direction they face a bit will help in minimizing "drifting" between hives.
Think about rows of white houses along the street. How do we know which is ours? If they are all the same design, color and size - put a number (symbol) on the door! In more refined communities the homes are not set in long straight rows so they have individuality. Set them in curves or irregular as PerryBee suggested.
Learning point - figures (box, diamond, circle, letter, number, or character) are better distinguished by bees than color
If you could get ultraviolet colors as bees use in flower orientation that would be a different story.
Sorry for the delay, I have been too busy to get to the pigeon loft. The peasants have been revolting and it takes time to clear up after the molten lead. They are an ungrateful lot --- I nearly always give them the kitchen scraps. I think we should transport some of the troublemakers. I have heard of a land to the West which is full of savages and wild beasts -- very suitable. :grin:
I see a Venerable Texas Gentleman :evil: has been expressing his envy for the way apiaries are organised in the UK. My hives are on individual stands with space between to place and work another hive if needed. This space is handy for placing the roof and supers when checking the brood box.
Layout of hives in the UK depends on the space available and the beekeeper's time. I know of hives in a circle facing inwards. A local training apiary has the hives well spread around the outside of the hive area. It is up to the individual to place according to need and constraints.
What is a "robber guard" ? Something special, or a way to reduce the entrance of the victim hive ? :?:
the above is funny... thanks for the chuckle Barbarian.
a robber guard is a small screen (for me typically hardware wire mesh 8 strands to the inch) a few inches tall attached to the front of the hive that prevent robbers from directly flying into the open entrance of a hive. the bees in the box learn pretty quickly to enter and exist by climbing the wire <there is of course some confusion here when they are installed. it has added benefit in that it does seem to limit the defensive nature of some hives since the guard bees do not see anything and everything that passes by the front door as a threat.
I myself have a lot of italian stock which is known for robbing behavior and I have good neighbors close who smile kindly on my twisted perversion with stinging insects. so I benefit from robber guards in both of their purposes.
every new beekeeper who has family issues with the bees should check the above link and memorize this until the information is etched in your brain. it will resolve the primary problem in the interaction between man and bee.