Re: c) Hive placement
I have my hives fenced in along the back of a metal work shop with a line of trees along the property line about 30 feet away. It has worked great till the trees grew out and started to shade the hives. Now I am trimming back the branches every year. It is still a great place for the hives but it is a little more work than before. If your hives are going to there for a few years check that they won't get shaded as trees grow up around them.
The good points about having the hives back there is that you can't see them from the road or neighbor's property, I extract in the shop and the bees have to fly almost straight up over the shop to forage.
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