As one who is very eager to begin beekeeping (urban, in my case), I have one big question: where to site my hive. I searched before starting this thread and found one on a similar question, but the thread got off onto other topics, so I didn't quite find the answers I was seeking. If this has been addressed in a different thread, please feel free to direct me there. Anyway...so here it is:
Here in Chicago, we have very narrow lots (25 ft.). We have already added a few chickens, which was my last nutty idea that my wife resisted at first but now loves. We also have three kids ten and under, plus a garden. We really do not have a good place to site a hive in the yard. I've thought of nearby places -- our church rooftop, etc. -- and there are a couple of possibilities, but nothing really great or easily accessible. I'd have to use ladders to come and go, which is not ideal. It makes me wish we had a flat garage roof.
Would it work to site a conventional hive in a garage? We have a 2+ car garage, but only one car. The other side is used for my workshop, bike storage, etc. Would it work to site it near the large door with tubing of some sort as the entrance? At the Chicago Botanic Gardens, they have an observation hive, and I was surprised that the tubing for the entrance was quite long (maybe 6-8 ft.). It went way up to the rooftop, presumably to be overhead and out of harm's way from visitors. I could do the same thing, running the tubing up overhead and then outside.
Would this work? I know that observation hives use the same method. They are also made to be sealed, so that that the bees can't get into the house. If the main entrance of a conventional hive was connected to the entrance tube, would there be any other way for the bees to get out into the garage? I'm just trying to think through any deal-breakers in this idea. If it were sited right next to the large door, work could be done with that door wide open, or perhaps it could even be gently rolled out (if the hive was set on a cart on wheels) for inspections. Would it be too hot in a garage during the summer? Would it require added ventilation? The garage door side is south-facing, so I don't know which is preferable. In the other thread, the potential problem of fumes from cars starting up was mentioned, as well as lawnmowers, etc. We don't have gas-powered equipment like this, and we are not constantly coming and going. (In fact, during the summer, we often don't even park in the garage. I do use the garage for a workshop, so there are times when there would be loud power saws, etc. Would this noise be agitating to them?
Anyway, not sure if this will work, but I'm scrambling for other possibilities, so if it won't work, perhaps the next question would be, Do you have any experience keeping them in unconventional places?
Thanks very much,
Chicago Public Schools