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Author Topic: Hive placement, shady spot  (Read 4120 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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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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Moonshae
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« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2008, 08:40:05 PM »


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.

What about a full hive and a nuc? you could combine them in the fall, and then split out a nuc again in the spring. The population difference wouldn't be very great, but you'd have all the benefits of a second hive...frames of eggs, a spare queen, frames of brood to supplement...
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« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2008, 11:31:35 PM »

I understand your feelings about having one hive. I started with only one hive and that was great for me. Went through the whole year with only one and it was a good strong hive at that. Then I split the hive because they started to make queen cells and I knew they would swarm. I was very worried about having 2 hives and thought it would be way to much for me to handle. Sometimes you just have to split the hive just for the health of the hive, so sometimes the number of hives you have may go up, sometimes they may go down.

Just start out the way you want, and have the experience. You may find you just have to increase to keep the hives healthy. But you can always keep the operation small in any case.

Good Luck
Annette

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SgtMaj
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« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2008, 11:56:02 PM »

I have a feeling that between the skunks and chickens, and bluejays and cardinals that we have around here... the hives would never quite get strong enough to swarm.  But if I do see queen cells, I'll just kill them off to keep them from swarming.
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eri
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« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2008, 08:05:07 AM »

I saw a suggestion somewhere to raise the boxes high enough off the ground to that the skunk will have to 'stand up,' thus exposing its tender belly to the guard bees.  Looks like that ladder is long enough Wink  From what I understand the birds won't make much of a dent in the population.
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« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2008, 12:18:04 PM »

My main apiary of about 15 hives is on the North side of my workshop and near my Northern property line. It is also surrounded on the North, East, and West by a six foot high barrier of tan shadecloth. The same shadecloth is in a six foot wide swath that goes over the middle of the otherwise open top. This provides them with some shade almost all day, every day. Right now it is just past 9:00AM and the ambient temperature, in the shade, is 101.5F. If I didn't provide them with some shade and lots of available water, I would likely lose some to overheating.

My Nuc colonies, which I have about twenty of, are nearer my Southern property line. They are underneath a very large Mesquite tree whose canopy reaches to the ground in many places. It is the shadiest location on my property, besides the crawlspace beneath our home. Perhaps a more sunny location would inspire them to begin foraging earlier in the morning, but having them expire from overheating by 10:00AM doesn't seem like a good trade-off.
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« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2008, 11:28:58 PM »

I have a feeling that between the skunks and chickens, and bluejays and cardinals that we have around here... the hives would never quite get strong enough to swarm.  But if I do see queen cells, I'll just kill them off to keep them from swarming.

They will still swarm and you will not have a queen left behind
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JP
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« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2008, 07:50:06 AM »

I have a feeling that between the skunks and chickens, and bluejays and cardinals that we have around here... the hives would never quite get strong enough to swarm.  But if I do see queen cells, I'll just kill them off to keep them from swarming.

They will still swarm and you will not have a queen left behind

Reminds me of that commercial, Its not nice to fool with Mother Nature! Once the bees are oriented to swarm they must be tricked into thinking they have swarmed out or they will, this involves making a split, and placing the parent queen in the new set up.

Some say giving them extra space will alleviate the need but I've found firsthand that this just doesn't work if they've already put in the legwork.

Adding extra boxes once they've created swarm cells is a moot point.


...JP
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« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2008, 11:03:15 AM »

Yep, learned that lesson this year.  don't detroy swarm cells.  Doing so and giving them space does not convince them that they have swarmed.  Only splitting them will.
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« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2008, 09:39:54 PM »

So basically, I should find someone willing to take them, then split them... right?
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« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2008, 10:14:01 PM »

That is so true.  I scraped off queen cells and had to go buy a new queen to introduce.  My hive had swarmed and taken the laying queen, and then I went and wiped out the remaining bees' plan for a new queen.  You should have no trouble finding someone to take the nuc that you create.  You can likely sell it through your local association. 
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« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2008, 04:23:31 AM »

Well, hopefully it won't even come to that.  I'll just give 'em plenty of room, and steal their honey as soon as they have a little extra to spare.   grin

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JP
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« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2008, 08:40:38 AM »

Well, hopefully it won't even come to that.  I'll just give 'em plenty of room, and steal their honey as soon as they have a little extra to spare.   grin



Sarge, not to beat a dead horse, but bees don't just swarm when they get honey bound, they also swarm, in fact mainly as a reproductive urge. I've seen many that have swarmed that had room to expand.


...JP
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« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2008, 05:52:10 PM »

You're not helping my decision to get bees...
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« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2008, 09:27:48 PM »

Don't sweat it.  Bees aren't pets, and they cannot be controlled.  They can, however, be managed so long as we go along with their natural urges and do not try to do something which is contrary to their programming.  That is, after all, what I and many others are attempting to learn from this forum and our experience in the field. To steal an oft used comparison, we are trying to learn to be bee "keepers" rather than just bee "havers".  (I am still just a haver)  Just because you cannot control them is not a reason to forego the experience of raising bees.  Learn to manage them and all will be well.
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« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2008, 09:29:07 PM »

You're not helping my decision to get bees...

Just being honest, but they are truly magnificent insects, the pluses far out weigh
the minuses, as to the whys of keeping them.


...JP
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« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2008, 11:35:00 PM »

You're not helping my decision to get bees...

You want things your way, and I understand your feelings. When I started to keep bees I thought the hobby would be very easy. Just add supers when they need room and extract honey when there is some. Well I learned the hard way that there is much more to keeping bees than that. Much to learn, and do to truly keep them strong and healthy. Make sure you are totally committed to do whatever is necessary before you get into this hobby.

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« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2008, 03:59:39 PM »

Yes, this is certainly a hobby.  Like Annette, I thought, 'Oh, I'll keep bees and get honey'.  How difficult could that be?  Now I know.  I spend more time trying to figure out what their natural tendancies are rather than actually doing.  But there is alot of doing to be done as well.

With regard to "havers" and "keepers", I have to admit I get confused by this expression.  (it was used earlier in this thread).  There are members here that refer to themselves as havers, when I would place them in the "keeper" category. What are we talking about here?

I also heard this term when I first started and was forewarned not to be a beehaver.  At times I feel like a "beekeeper" at others I feel I'm a "get in the way of the bees keeper".

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« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2008, 06:06:31 PM »

As for the "bee haver" vs. "beekeeper" thing, I have taken it to mean that there are those who have bees but really do not know much about them, how they work, what to do with them to promote their well being and how to maximize their benefits to humans.  These are the "bee havers".  It doesn't mean we are ill-itentioned, just inexperienced.  Then there are those who keep bees and live in harmony with them and their natural order.  I think of a beekeeper as an advocate for the bees and one who looks out for them and is a good steward.  It takes someone who understands the bees to handle several hives or commercially operate (at least if they are to be successful over time). The problem is that to be this more enlightened bee keeper requires a lot of experience and no small amount of study and just watching them. 

I think there are many beekeepers on this site that fit that description and many of us who are still learning but will someday rise to that level. I do not think it is a destination, however, in that many I see have kept bees for decades and will profess to learning new things daily about their bees. These are my thoughts on the subject.
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Brian
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« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2008, 10:14:59 PM »

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

Ok, yes.  But they seem to do better in full sun.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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