This is the first year I will be using pallets for my hives to sit on. I have talked to many commercial beekeepers and they say that it does not matter what direction the hives face they all produce about the same amount of honey. I would like to hear someone with expeience doing this. As of now I have three to a pallet two facing south and one east. Can I get four on with out compromising honey production?
I've used pallets for hive stands. I think you get less drift if they all face different directions, but I haven't noticed much other differences.
>>Can I get four on with out compromising honey production
Sure thing. All my hives are on four way pallets. Bees do just fine, if not better in this method of hive management. Drifting is a concern, but I rairly ever think of it. Probably only when I am establishing a new bee yard with all new splits. When they first come out they can get a little confused. I like to change up my colours a bit to help them through their first flight.
When a bee orientates itself to their hive, they will rairly drift to another, unless they are confused by their beekeeper working their hive. Usually the place the bee exits the hive is where the bee enters the hive. This can be easily proved by covering a broodchamber hole,to find the bees congergate over the blocked enterence for a long while even when there is an opening inches away. Also move the hive two feet aside. They will go directly to the spot the hive was, and huver until they catch thier hives sent. Hive colour helps the bees orientate themselves, but I think mainly its importance is when they are on their first orientation flight. Switching the hives box colours does not confuse feild bees enough to not enter the hive
Because of all this, two hives place side by next, facing the same direction will cause very little trouble.
[This message has been edited by Ian (edited April 25, 2004).]
What about direction North and South or East and West or ???
No thats about it, you hit the main four.
You can put four hives on a pallet and face them all the same direction. I only do it when on a slope or terrain dictates. Having a different painted hive top helps with drift. Or put a rock on one, a brick on another and so on. With four hives it not a big concern. With bee yeards of sat, more than 12, than it becomes a bigger factor.
Normally, I put two facing one way and the other two opposite.
Beekeepers always are told that a hive should face east or south, or somewhere in between. If bees had there choice, do you know what they would prefer if given options?
I kind of think that sun on the entrance in winter up north is helpful. And you can move the hives when winter prepping in the fall in needed. The rest of the year its as I need to sit them to work comfortably.