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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default c) Hive placement

    Focus: Location, direction, stands, for hives. Things to consider when choosing an apiary site.
    Regards, Barry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
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    Default Location

    Perfect timing Barry!! As I am looking around my backyard I found the perfect spot for my girls, side of the house where the house, shed, tree, and 6' fence will cause them to have to fly up 20' or so to take off. One glaring problem....the spot is 10 to 12 feet away from my A/C condenser....I would like some opinions as to whether you feel this is too close and the noise could cause mood issues with the ladies?
    Thx
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,104

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    Locating hives?

    "Where should I put my hive?" The problem is there isn't a simple answer. But in a list of decreasing importance I would pick these criteria with a willingness to sacrifice the less important ones altogether if they don't work out.

    Safety. It's essential to have the hive where they are not a threat to animals who are chained or penned up and can't flee if they are attacked, or where they are likely to be a threat to passerbys who don't know there are hives there. If the hive is going to be close to a path that people walk you need to have a fence or something to get the bees up over the people's heads. For the safety of the bees they should be where cattle won't rub on them and knock them over, horses won't knock them over and bears can't get to them.

    Convenient access. It's essential to have the hive where the beekeeper can drive right up to it. Carrying full supers that could weigh from 90 pounds (deep) down to 48 pounds (eight frame medium) any distance is too much work. The same for bringing beekeeping equipment and feed to the hives. You may have to feed as much as 50 pounds or more of syrup to each hive and carrying it any distance is not practical. Also you will learn a lot more about bees with a hive in your backyard than a hive 20 miles away at a friend's house. Also a yard a mile or two from home will get much better care than one 60 miles from home.

    Good forage. If you have a lot of options, then go for a place with lots of forage. Sweet clover, alfalfa being grown for seed, tulip poplars etc. can make the difference between bumper crops of 200 pounds or more of honey per hive and barely scraping a living. But keep in mind the bees will not only be foraging the space you own, they will be foraging the 8,000 acres around the hives.

    Not in your way. I think it's important the hive does not interfere with anyone's life much. In other words, don't put it right next to a well used path where, in a dearth and in a bad mood, the bees may harass or sting someone or anywhere else where you are likely to wish they weren't there.

    Full sun. I find hives in full sun have fewer problems with diseases and pests and make more honey. All things being equal, I'd go for full sun. The only advantage to putting them in the shade is that you get to work them in the shade.

    Out of the wind. It's nice to have them where the cold winter wind doesn't blow on them so hard and the wind is less likely to blow them over or blow off the lids. This isn't my number one requirement, but if a place is available that has a windbreak it's nice. This usually precludes putting them at the very top of a hill.

    Not in a low-lying area. I don't care if they are somewhere in the middle, but I'd rather not have them where the dew and the fog and the cold settle and I really don't want them where I have to move them if there's a threat of a flood.

    If you live in a very hot climate, mid afternoon shade might be a nice to have, but I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

    In the end, bees are very adaptable. They really don't care, so make sure it's convenient for you, and if it's not too hard to provide, try to meet some of the other criteria. It's doubtful you'll have a place that meets all of the criteria listed above.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-03-2010 at 12:24 PM.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    joebryant Guest

    Default Re: c) Hive placement

    Glad that I read that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Toledo, Washington, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default

    The closer my bees were to the blackberry bush behind the hive, the more active they were. Choose a place where winter has some shelter and summer has a good breeze.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
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    3,721

    Default

    For those aspiring beekeepers that do not have a backyard, 'NO BEES' laws, or land to put hives on, you will have to think of some 'creative ways' to find/locate,.land/ someone within reasonable driving distance that would,...appreciate or allow/'love' some hives of honey bees to be placed on their land. My first opportunity was from a co-worker; so friends, relatives, co-workers may be a source of 'information'. I ended up putting an 'ad' in the weekly newspapers of the nearby small towns where I live and the major daily of course. I don't think this is the best method but I was lucky that way. If you have a 'farmers market' nearby, that may be a source; Craigs List has been mentioned on Beesource. Google Maps or something similar will show areas near you that may provide great foraging for the bees. It is GOOD to have as many options as possible when locating your hives because you should have acquired information from your reading as far as,.. accessibility, compass direction, foraging area, high land/low land, protection from winter winds,..etc.

    In this regard: An agreement,...a handshake [friends,relatives, co-workers], a formal, perhaps written document/legal needs to be considered.
    Last edited by Oldbee; 08-23-2008 at 03:12 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
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    2,115

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    MBís web page says it all. I have a few hives that are in a windy area, in summer itís not a problem but in winter it would be very tough for the bees. So I place a few bails of straw on the windward side which acts as a wind break. So far they have always come threw the winter in good shape. Without the wind break I think I would just be picking up dead outs in spring.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Milwaukee WI
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    264

    Default

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norther...ees_and_shrubs

    here is a site that was very helpful to me they have lots of things on bees and other plants nice chart telling which plants are major and minor

    here where we live Black locust they get allot of honey but the Dep of natural Resources says its an evasive plant.
    Wishing you all the best of tomorrows and good honey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
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    2,869

    Default

    I have been told that black locust nectar washes out easily and since here it is a very early bloomer (during the most rainy part of our season) it is hard to get any of the water white honey the nectar produces. Due to a fluke dry spring the first year I pulled honey I had one shallow super that was completely full of locust honey...got one gallon out of the super....you could read a newspaper thru the gallon jar. Very beautiful with an extremely delicate flavor. We however prefer darker more flavorful honeys like alfalfa. (And no I have never fed with a super on.) While looking for city code/laws concerning beekeeping (there are none!! leave that all up to the state) I discovered it is illegal to plant a black locust tree in the city limits:mad:
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    3,770

    Default

    I wouldn't worry about the A/C condenser. Bees respond to vibration. They don't have ears. The distance sounds fine to me.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
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    1,674

    Default

    You may bee able to slide a small smooth board under the drip drain, remember an air conditioner is also a de-humidifier. That way you don't run up your water bill. However you may live in an arid part of Oklahoma and you will need to supliment this free water during cool periods.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
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    Default

    a site that is well drained (certain diseases are associated with wet locations) and accessable year round.

    if I kept bees in town (which I don't) my first concern would be placing them in some spot where they would be difficult to impossible to see. out of sight.. out of mind.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Agawam, MA
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    52

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    i am looking to place my hives about 20 ft from a semi traveled road in the summer, we get alot of busses traveling down it and once in a while delivery trucks. monster sanders and plows in the winter. this road is not a highway is a local through way. we have 15ft abrovites blocking our yard from the street. will this traffic be a problem. and if so is there any kind of shock absorbers it could rest on? i have no other option of placement.
    mike

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA USA
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    1,206

    Default

    I don't think they care much about the sound and vibrations of the trucks, if that's what you're worried about. There's a thriving feral hive in an oak tree limb directly in the middle of our local building supply yard, which is full of big trucks all day long.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
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    637

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Focus: Location, direction, stands, for hives. Things to consider when choosing an apiary site.
    I usually put 30 - 50 hives in a site. What I look for is property with 5 acers or more, accessabilty with my truck that has a knack of getting stuck in even a pot hole, and southern exposure with north protection. I stay away from property with live stock (cows, horses, ect.).

    I place the colonies on wooden pallets and face them south to west depending on location and convenience.

    consider if bears or other predators are a problem, take the right measures. If vandalization will be a problem then don't even keep bees there (I wish we could shoot vandals). keep hives out of areas with a history of flooding. keep the grass in the yard mowed and away from the entrance of the hives. keep the yard clean.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,419

    Default

    It's obvious that you are coming at this as one who runs a business in beekeeping. Some of your points should be concerns for the beginner as well. Another point to be aware of are swimming pools. I went to go look at a possible property for placing hives and noticed the neighbor had a swimming pool. Even though the forage area was great, I declined to use the yard due to the pool in the area. Bees and pool owners don't usually go well together.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-03-2010 at 12:27 PM.
    Regards, Barry

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord NH
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    2,665

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    Barry, any idea what the connection is between Bees and Pools? Is there an attraction to the clorine?

    I have a stream that has water in it all season long and some of the girls will prefer to fly 1/4 -1/2 mile to the nearest pool. Thankfully the owner loves bees and rescues the ones she finds floating out there.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-03-2010 at 12:27 PM.
    Milk Cows Not Taxpayers

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    It's obvious that you are coming at this as one who runs a business in beekeeping. Some of your points should be concerns for the beginner as well. Another point to be aware of are swimming pools. I went to go look at a possible property for placing hives and noticed the neighbor had a swimming pool. Even though the forage area was great, I declined to use the yard due to the pool in the area. Bees and pools don't usually go well together.
    But that which is good for 30 - 50 hives is good for a few hives too and vice versa. I was a beginner once myself.

    About swimming pools, the complaints from the owners of the pool would bee the only problem, the few bees one would lose is nothing to worry about and the chlorine content is not a problem either as is so diluted. bees will prefer pool water for the same reason they prefer the run off of manure pile or salt licks, they, like all living creatures need electrolytes.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chillard willard View Post
    But that which is good for 30 - 50 hives is good for a few hives too and vice versa. I was a beginner once myself.
    I'll have to disagree. The purpose for the forum is "getting started". The needs and concerns for one just starting out are quite different in some areas than one like yourself who may be running quite a bit more. A beginner will more than likely be keeping their hives in their backyard, unlike those that have more than 10 hives. That in itself brings up unique issues.
    Regards, Barry

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    637

    Default

    But we are talking about conditions not number of hives and a back yard will usually meet those conditions. On the other hand, if that back yard is in a resadential area, it might not be ideal either, one hive is enough to disgruntle neighbors.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

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