I'm completely new at this and relatively unprepared. I had to rush because of needing to order bees in the spring. I live in Swarthmore- a small wealthy town, and have annoyed my neighbors on numerous occasions- not mowing my yard, dogs barking, compost problems. I am pretty sure bees would really annoy them- though it is legal in the town.
Also I don't have a surfeit of sunny areas, there are big trees surrounding my backyard, and I need the space for a vegetable garden. I would have to put the hive in the very middle of my yard, in a very obvious place.
So I'm thinking of putting them on my roof- I have a flat area above what used to be a second story porch- access would be through a window or a ladder outside. I know there are problems with rooftop placement. What are your recommendations for preparing the hive for weather, etc. I live in SE Pennsylvania- near Philadelphia.