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Author Topic: Hive placement, shady spot  (Read 4079 times)
SgtMaj
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« on: June 18, 2008, 09:57:32 PM »

Is it ok to place a hive in a shady location?

I was out in the garden today and realized I might have the perfect spot for a hive (on the other side of my rain barel).  Right up next to the house foundation.  It's approx. 3 meters from the chicken coup, 4.5 meters from the deck, and about 6 meters from the nearest backyard fence which should keep the kids at least 6 meters away.

The only problem is it's shaded by the house in the morning and a maple tree in the late afternoon.  On the plus-side... it gets very hot here, so maybe shade is a good thing.
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2008, 10:16:12 PM »

 My hives are in a sort of "Broken" shade. They are under mesquite kind of and the sun doesnt hit them full blast at any time of the day. Mesquite is kind of "ferny"  with tiny leaves.
 Some people think that full sun helps keep hive beetles to a minimum. My hives, in the broken light have roaches and sometimes a black widow now and then. With the broken sunlight it makes it more comfortable to mess with the bees too.

your friend,
john
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HAB
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2008, 10:52:08 PM »

Ours are under a Red Oak tree and are shaded from about 10 til 4 its about the coolest spot around.  Was working on fences Monday (near 100F) quit and came to the house.  Compared to the fence line under the Red Oak felt air-conditioning. Smiley
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stinger27
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2008, 10:59:57 PM »

    I have a hive under a large apple tree.  They still do great for me
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Kimbrell
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2008, 11:49:12 PM »

SgtMaj,
In our area I would worry more about placing the hive in a damp place.  Is your shady area also damp?  If you place it against your house make sure there is enough ventilation around the hive to help keep away pests and disease.
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GaryMinckler
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2008, 08:46:53 AM »

My hives are set up against a treeline and get the first sunlight of the day.  Late in the day they get shade as the temps climb.  In the fall when the leaves fall and the temps cool they get late day sunshine throught the trees.  I like it!
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2008, 09:08:29 AM »

It may not matter all that much, but the serious bee gurus like M.B. like full sun. Your bees may wake up earlier in full sun and bring you more rewards but if you just like keeping them for what they are then go for it.


...JP
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2008, 09:13:56 AM »

SgtMaj,
In our area I would worry more about placing the hive in a damp place.  Is your shady area also damp?  If you place it against your house make sure there is enough ventilation around the hive to help keep away pests and disease.

right now it's damp due to having drained and filled the rain barrel a couple of times to patch holes, but normally I'd say it's about normal... it's covered by the eves, but since the rain comes from that direction, that won't help keep the rain off it, but the oak tree might... so I'll call it average... oh... there is a compost pile a few feet from it (between it and the chicken coup)... not good I know, but probably not too bad either.

How much ventilation should I maintain?  6 inches?  a foot?  I could do either of those.
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Ross
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2008, 03:20:58 PM »

Hives that get significant shade are more prone to moisture problems, SHB, and just not as productive.  It seems like you're doing them a favor, but even here in Texas, the bees do better in full sun with adequate ventilation.
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derrick1p1
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2008, 04:37:02 PM »

Mine get early morning sun, broken shade throughout to about mid afternoon.  Midafternoon on, they get full shade.  The early sun gets them up early, the shade helps with ventilation.  If I could give them more sun I would though as I hear it helps with shb and productivity.  But I'm happy with what I have as it works well for me during inspections.

Just remember, in the wild, bees are in shaded areas most of the time (hollow trees), so I wouldn't worry about it really.  Maybe try it with 1-2 hives, and do a comparison with those in the sun?

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SgtMaj
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2008, 09:13:23 PM »

Mine get early morning sun, broken shade throughout to about mid afternoon.  Midafternoon on, they get full shade.  The early sun gets them up early, the shade helps with ventilation.  If I could give them more sun I would though as I hear it helps with shb and productivity.  But I'm happy with what I have as it works well for me during inspections.

Just remember, in the wild, bees are in shaded areas most of the time (hollow trees), so I wouldn't worry about it really.  Maybe try it with 1-2 hives, and do a comparison with those in the sun?



I would, but I really only want one hive... I know, I know... 2 are easier to manage.  But 1 is all I really desire, and the fewer hives, the more likely the neighbors are to be accepting of it.
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Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2008, 09:40:43 PM »

I understand and respect your reasoning on the number of hives, but I think you will regret it.  One hive will teach you only one way.  Moreover, there are so many things that can happen to a hive that having only one is an incredible risk with a minimal yield as I can see.  Two hives are no more invasive or incendiary to neighbors than one - ten yes, two no.  What will you do if your one dies out over winter or becomes queenless?  You will have no back up plan.  Even two can be too few.  I just had three taken down a river during a flood and was left with only one. By luck I was able to recover enough bees and a queen to fill out one of the ones lost, but the other two are a complete loss.

Incidentally and off topic a bit, my hives were two small cell and one large cell.  The flood caused the hives to mix up and combine, and I can really see the difference between the small bees and the large ones.  Trying to find a small cell queen when there has been an influx of large cell workers and drones is, for me, an impossible task.  Thank goodness I found eggs, larvae and brood to let me know she was in themix.
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Brian
SgtMaj
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2008, 09:52:41 PM »

If I lose the one hive, I'll just order more package bees or a nuc...

If I only learn one way, that's ok too.  I'm not out to become a lvl 9 grandmaster beekeeper.  I just want to keep enough bees to keep my garden well pollinated.

If I had plenty of land, I would definately consider keeping more, as I could get them far enough away from everyone so as to not be a bother to them... but I don't have that much land to place them on, and none of it is really open land.
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JP
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2008, 10:02:06 PM »

If I lose the one hive, I'll just order more package bees or a nuc...

If I only learn one way, that's ok too.  I'm not out to become a lvl 9 grandmaster beekeeper.  I just want to keep enough bees to keep my garden well pollinated.

If I had plenty of land, I would definately consider keeping more, as I could get them far enough away from everyone so as to not be a bother to them... but I don't have that much land to place them on, and none of it is really open land.

Sarge, I don't mean to burst your bubble but your bees may not even visit your garden.


...JP
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Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 10:36:30 PM »

I understand, Sergeant Major, and you should execute whatever plan with which you are comfortable. Many of us will recommend more than one hive for the sole reason that we wnat to be able to help out a struggling hive and we wnat to be sure we have at least one hive that makes it. That said, any effot you make to keep bees is welcome and is helpful.  JP is right, however, and there is no guarantee that your bees will visit your garden.  Bees pick the nectar source/pollen source that they want to work, and it may not be the one closest in proximity to the hive. That said, you still should keep bees because they will pollinate something, and, more importantly, they will bring you great joy and learning.
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Brian
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2008, 11:04:13 PM »

I've got my boxes under an old oak tree. It gives them broken shade in the spring and summerto keep things cooler, and then in the winter when the leaves will fall they will be in more sunlight to keep them warmer.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2008, 11:05:09 PM »

Your bees dont need ideal, just like you. Is your houise ideal? No. Nice?, yes, adequate? yes, not ideal. So give your bees a good home, not an ideal one. Stop worrying. I would also suggest two hives as well.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2008, 08:57:13 AM »

Couple of thoughts on the one hive vs. two hive thing...

Even though two hives would be easier to keep, the number of bees that would be roaming the neighborhood would double between one and two hives.  That increases the risk that one of the neighbor's kids will get stung, and that ultimately they would blame me for it.

Another thought is that the more hives you have in one location, the more competition there is for food sources, so barring catastrophe from a dead queen, etc... the one hive could possibly be stronger than individual hives in a multiple hive aviary.

Not only would the competition for food decrease, but I would think that pests such as wax moths and the like, would find it much more difficult to feed and reproduce... the same way having 1 or two cabbages in the garden won't support a large cabbage butterfly population, but a whole field of cabbages will and you'll see population explosions of cabbage butterflies to the point that you have to spray to control them or take massive crop losses.

As far as the bees pollinating my garden is concerned... having a hive, CAN'T be any worse pollination-wise, than not having any bees in the area.  Even if they don't pollinate everything, they'll pollinate something.  I have an apple tree and two nectarine trees too... in addition to all kinds of dfferent vegetables... so I'm sure I'll see some kind of pollination benefits... especially since I'm about to tripple the size of my veggie gardens... and one day, when we can afford it, I'll buy a farm (hopefully before I buy THE farm) and grow enough to meet all our food needs. 
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derrick1p1
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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2008, 09:17:08 AM »

First, bees very rarely sting or become defensive while foraging.  I wouldn't worry about bees stinging your neighbors.  I liken it to getting bit by a dog.  Your chances of getting bit by a dog don't really go up much because your neighbors just got a puppy.

I'm having pollination issues in my small garden and I have several hives.  From what I remember (someone correct me if I'm wrong please), bees forage 100ft to 5 miles out.  Not much closer or further.  I have seen just a few bees in my front or side yards on nice days in the past 2 years.  My bees have found a source north of my property and seem to never even fly past my yard/gardens.

Pest (wax moths, shb) are opportunistic.  All hives have some level of pests (mites, shb, wax moths).  It is the strength of the hive that keeps them at bay.  10 healthy hives aren't any more likely to be overtaken by pests that 1 healthy hive.  But the moment the hive is weak, they can take hold (pest are very opportunistic), without any additional risk to nearby strong hives (which can be utilized to increase strength in the weaker hives).

Good luck,
Derrick
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I won't let grass grow under my feet, there will be plenty of time to push up daisies.
SgtMaj
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2008, 06:50:06 PM »

Here's the spot I would place the hive... just to the right of that rain barrel.

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