Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default What way to face the hives?

    I read somewhere that hives should be south facing, is that true?
    So long that they get good sun exposure, does it make any difference the direction they face?

    My hives are exposed to winds all year long. I'm putting up a temporary windbreak while the hedge grows up, but there is still going to be wind blowing at the hives at times. But it's a wind from the south. If the hives faced north, that could help the winter, though summer air circulation may be effected.

    Thanks for any tips.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    137

    Default

    My mentor taught me to face the entrance east so the early morning sun gets them going. Wind is a consideration and ours is mainly from the W/SW so the east entrance makes sense there as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Washington Island, Wi
    Posts
    350

    Default

    I imagine it gets pretty cold there - I would probably face them east - morning sun gets them going.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Eagle Springs, N.C.
    Posts
    15

    Default

    If your prevailing wind is from the south I think I would face the hive entrance to the east.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Default

    >hives should be south facing, is that true?

    Most of mine are east facing. Some of mine are every direction. I think there are more important criteria than just an arbitrary direction.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#locating
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Geneva,Florida, Seminole USA
    Posts
    290

    Default

    Doing cut outs I've noticed they mostly face south to east. I try to keep my hives doing the same.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Suffolk NY
    Posts
    200

    Default

    It's generally accepted that hive openings should be face towards the morning sun to get them to an early start. Here's another question: Have any of you more experienced beeks observed a tendency to build comb in a particular direction (where not directed by frames or foundation). For instance, say in an empty box or observations during cut outs.

    I've observed that nothing these critters do is left to chance, so it stands to reason that when left to their own devices, comb may be oriented based on some factor such as azimuth, local magnetic declination, prevailing wind, etc.

    Whaddya think?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,590

    Default

    I've always wondered about the advice to face the hive entrance towards the sun. The idea is that a hive facing the sun will get more active faster. Why would that be true? It is just a box. Why would the box heat up more just because the relatively small entrance is facing a certain way?

    Assuming that the bees seeing light makes a difference, wouldn't they still see light out of the entrance when the sun rises? After all, it may be less bright on the side away from the sun but its also not dark. Also, why would it matter at all if there is a screend bottom board and the bees can see light hitting under the hive?

    I'm not claiming to have an answer, but I just don't understand the normal advice about how to face your hives. I can see how putting the hives in the sun could get them to heat up, but the direction they face seems pretty unimportant.

    Is this advice based on anything other than "it's how it's done?" Has anybody done an actual comparison?

    Also, it would seem that a more important consideration would be the prevailing wind directions. I think it could affect the bees if the opening faced north, for example, and allowed cold north winds to blow in the entrance. At least where I live, the winds are out the east the least, which is probably true for most of the U.S.? Maybe that's a better reason to face the hives to the east.

    Just wondering,

    ndvan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    137

    Default

    My hives have an east 'porch' and I do notice the early bees coming down and hanging out in the direct sun. If my entrance was on the west or north they wouldn't get this direct heat. Never done any comparison's though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    I have seen un-managed hives face in every direction, but most hives that I have see, that have taken up residence on someone’s home or a tree face south or east. So my observation is that they prefer these directions for the entrance.
    In my area our prevailing winds are North west so especially in winter you wouldn’t want to face the hive in that direction to prevent them from being blasted by winter winds, or in warmer weather summer thunderstorms.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Default

    Here's the science behind the concerns of hive placement.

    http://bee-quick.com/reprints/sunny.pdf


    That said, the overwhelming majority of hives kept in the US
    are kept on pallets, which face 4 hive entrances at 90-degree
    angles to each other.

    The implication here is that 3 of the 4 hives have to be "facing the
    wrong direction" when on pallets, and if this was intolerable, the
    pallet system would not be used.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    765

    Default Direction of wild comb

    Read this the other day. When falling a tree with a hive in it, if possible fall the tree onto the opening hole or fall it so the hole is up. Bees will build comb striaght back from the opening( makes sense faster entering and access to back of hive). Comb is much stronger inline than sideways so there will be much less damage to the hive landing inline.

    Might not be exactly what was asked but I thought it was interesting..
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Default

    In my experience the comb usually runs about 45 degrees from the opening.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads