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Author Topic: Hive Placement.  (Read 534 times)
Leather Jim
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« on: July 04, 2013, 10:43:28 AM »

Everything I read says to place hives in full sunlight. My observations of wild hives finds them in the shade and things I've read about placing swarm trap say that the bees will reject a trap that is not shaded. So my question is is the advice to place hives in full sun based on what the bees prefer or is it based on what pests don't like, ie: SHB,Wax moths,mites etc.  Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2013, 10:59:48 AM »

My winter shaded hives suffered from Nosema.

 My summer shaded hives produced less honey (by several supers worth). Evaporating nectar to finished honey requires a lot of energy, the heat of the sun helps, otherwise, the bees have to contribute that energy themselves-- no free lunch.

Remember, the huge "latent heat of vaporization" is the principle by which swamp coolers keep homes cool. Latent heat (or Enthalpy) is higher in sugar solutions than in plain water, it really does take some effort to get the vapor out.

(Your experience may vary, my coastal, often foggy location is more humid and cooler than most areas).  Experiment and critically assess your results.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 11:14:18 AM »

I agree with JWChesnut and I have seen the same thing in my Michigan climate.

I have found that my hives in 8+ hours of Sun are far less susceptible to wax moths and seem to grow faster than those in full shade.  Why this is I cant say for sure.  As you say, many of the wild hives are up in trees which are naturally shaded. 

My guess is that the growth rate is probably a factor at keeping the wax moths under control.   I have moths all over the bee yard, but the only hives they ever take out are the ones in the shade.  Why the bees tend to grow slower in the shade, Im not sure about either.  Those hives dont get the solar gains from the sun and that may be part of the reason. 
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2013, 07:23:18 PM »

If you have a choice, go with more sun. At my farm, I left them in full sun during the Gaul berry season. They did very well considering I had over 120 commercial hives within a mile of mine and half of them were up against my property line.
I have been cutting trees in my home apiary to get more sun for this site and it has helped.
Try adding foil backed insulation in your cover to keep the hive from too much heat.
Jim
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sc-bee
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2013, 07:47:38 PM »

My observations of wild hives finds them in the shade and things I've read about placing swarm trap say that the bees will reject a trap that is not shaded.

I am thinking in the wild you don't find two many pretty boxes sittin out in an open field in the sunshine to build in  grin Just kidding. I think we have adapted beekeeping as we want it not as the bees want it. And along with that we have found some pest like the sunshine less. And also a hive that warms up quicker sends bees to foraging earlier. In the wild the bees could care less about the extra honey that they may make in the sun. They just want thier needs satisfied and they hoped to split themselves to help the cycle going.

So yes sunshine it is.
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John 3:16
capt44
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 09:22:20 PM »

I have all my hives in full sun even in the triple digit readings.
I do keep water buckets around for them and believe me they use them.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
Leather Jim
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 12:22:27 AM »

Ok. Thanks full Sun it is then, they have a 1acre lake 100 feet away so water is no problem, have landing boards half in and half out of the water so it works out well
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2013, 02:28:18 PM »

While it is probably true that bees seem to pick shady spots, sun seems to keep them healthier.

http://bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#locating
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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