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Author Topic: Please help me place my hives  (Read 801 times)
cinch123
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« on: November 28, 2011, 08:18:01 AM »

I will be getting started with my first bees in the spring. A family member has graciously offered up her property for the apiary location. The place has a lot going for it - lots of diverse local forage, water nearby, no ordinances restricting beekeeping. She already has a bee tree at the back of the yard and likes the idea of more bees around to pollinate her flowers and blueberry bushes. I pretty much can put the bees wherever I want on the property but I would like to minimize the impact of the bees to her taking care of her place. So I would like to pick a good location for the bees but not have them interfere with her mowing her lawn on a tractor mostly (no driving directly in front of the hives).

Everything to the East and South is wooded. My initial thought is to place them about 10 feet into the woods on the South side, sort of catty-cornered from the bee tree. The woods are pretty thin right there and there is easy access to the spot. My concern about that location are that they will only get full sun for about 5 hours a day. She has also mentioned that behind the garage, facing East would be okay, but I'm concerned she will have bees buzzing her a lot when she mows in front of the hives. She is NOT afraid of the bees... I just want to minimize any potential problems up front so everyone's happy.

I would like to pick a spot soon so I can get back there and do any leveling/site preparation/clearing I need to do before winter sets in too much.



Thanks for your help!


« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 08:49:16 AM by Robo » Logged
Hemlock
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2011, 09:00:55 AM »

I know several beeks that had to move their bees to Sunnier spots after setting them up in woodsy shaded spots; self included.  10 feet in the woods sounds real iffy.  

To avoid the mowing issue put the hives (you're getting more than one right!?) up on a tall stand, 12 to 18 inches.  The DMZ that doesn't get mowed will never bee tall enough to hamper the bees coming or going.  OR do the top entrance thing and put them at ground level.  either way...


...Just saw the map you put up
The tree line around the bee tree looks VERY inviting.  Think about it.  The local bees like it well enough.  Good afternoon Sun (you're in Ohio so it's not like it gets too hot there.  You can also keep a eye on the bees in the tree.

What about that pond.  Is it part of the property?
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ccar2000
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2011, 09:23:13 AM »

Some advice from So. California FWIW. I also believe you need more sun, full sun if possible. You're fortunate to have water close by. That will help the bees cool the hive if necessary. Keep the entrance facing away from the winter winds. The tall unmowed grass may be a hassle to move around in. You don't want to twist an ankle or lose your balance while holding a box full of bees. Like Hemlock says look at the bee tree, the entrance and location must be good if it has been surviving for some time. Another thing to consider is your travel to and from your apairy, as a hobbyist I am in my hives every couple of weeks. You should also consider some kind of on site storage or if you have a pick up truck you can tote spare boxes, frames and tools in there.
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cinch123
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2011, 09:50:38 AM »

First of all, thanks for the mods for allowing me to post the picture. I initially was not allowed but a quick email got a quick response and the picture was added. Thanks!

Answers to a few questions:
- The pond is on a neighbor's property. It's about 80 feet from the bee tree to the pond. There is a rocky stream that goes through the woods, from the pond.
- The bee tree is a very happy colony. It has been there, going strong for at least 4 years. It swarms every spring, usually settling  in a mass on the blueberry bushes. Man, I hope that continues!
- The entrance on the bee tree is about 10 feet up and faces into the yard, northwest.
- I am going to start with two hives from package bees. I will have an extra third hive on hand if the bee tree swarms and I can get to it.
- The homeowner has set aside part of the large detached garage for me to keep the equipment.
- Her place is about 30 minutes from my house, but 10 minutes from work. I will have access to the hives as often as I want.
- The grass is "yard like," not "field like."

I was planning on building stands that are about 20 inches off the ground anyway to limit skunk intrusion. If this will help, that's good news.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2011, 10:19:05 AM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#locating
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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sterling
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2011, 05:38:30 PM »

20 in stands can be a problem when you get a super full of honey that you have to deal with. I had one hive on an 18 in stand that ended up three deeps tall and the bees filled up the top deep with honey. I needed help to get it off.
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BrentX
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2011, 08:48:22 PM »

If you want the hives to be in the treeline, then I would go with putting the hives just barely under the trees on the east side, and would face the hives east so they catch the first rays of sunrise coming through the trees.  From my experience it is very easy to get to much shade. 

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Tommyt
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 10:36:10 PM »

I like the looks of, the back of the garage,seems you would be closer to your storage,looks like you should have sun all day,it will keep north wind off them.
 The back should also keep the bees flying straight up or, due east or west and those directions seem to have nothing in the way,if grass will be a problem maybe you can lay something down to keep it from growing. 

Tommyt
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