Wooded acreage - forage?
I just bought a house on 3 heavily wooded acres just outside of Atlanta, GA. The trees are overwhelmingly hardwood, in fact I've only seen one pine tree.
So what can I do to increase bee forage in a situation like this? In the summer I'll have very little sunshine reaching to ground, in the winter I'll have plenty of sun, but it gets cold enough in N. Georgia to kill flowering plants.
Since bees will travel in a radius 2 miles (or more) I would first take a look at whats around your property.
Beyond that consider clearing a 1/2 acre for starters and planting a garden.
Depending upon the composition of those trees you may get a good early season flow.
Milk Cows Not Taxpayers
since you are in Ga you will get a tulip polar flow, they are there bet on it, tulip polar honey will be red looking in a jar, that is my biggest flow here.
Originally Posted by TwT
Yes, I'm in a rental now (close on house on 9-08) and there is a HUGE Tulip Poplar tree on the property. Is Tulip Poplar honey tasty?
Originally Posted by JPK1NH
It's residential - I'm not sure about how everything looks up to 2 miles away, but my neighbors have 2 to 6 acres - all pretty much like mine. I'll check it out on google earth and look for some pastures.
I just started beekeeping this year, so I don't have a lot of experience, but...
I live in the middle of about 10 heavily wooded acres. Just as someone else suggested, we had cleared out an area for a garden, and did a little more clearing to make a place for our hives. We didn't clear out all of the trees in the area-just anough so the bee area gets direct sun for part of the day, and dappled sun and shade for the rest. They seem to be doing fine. However, the land around us is a mix of woods, swamp and fields, so they are probably doing a lot of foraging out in the fields.
I have 40 acres of mostly woods, and have 7 hives on it right now and plan on putting more on in the spring.Do you have wild blackberries, raspberries,poision ivy,sumac,gooseberry and many other types of under brush that grows in the woods.I was stationed in forrest park Ga. air base for a while when I was in the service.I didn!t get to walk in the woods and I don!t know what kind of plants that grow there?If they can get sunshine in early mourning till noon they will do fine.Good luck.
I haven't taken posession of the land yet so I'm not fully versed in the flora, but in general I've seen lot and lots of wild blackberries in N. Georgia - and there is poison ivy.
Originally Posted by brooksbeefarm
Here's something I don't understand - the general wisdom is that you have your hives in sun to part sun, facing south. But here are some contra-indictions to that general wisdom.
1. How many of you folks have bee's fanning and bearding to stay cool in the summer? Maybe they're getting too much direct sun.
2. Feral bee's live in tree hollows and such. I imagine a huge perecentage of them are shaded almost all day long. Yet this is how the species evolved.
3. If your hive is in the shade under hardwoods, then they'll stay cool in the summer, and when the trees drop leaves in winter, they'll get near full sun. Seems like an ideal arrangement.
Wouldn't it make more sense to have hives under hardwood trees with more shade than not? And where are all these feral bee's foraging if they are living in trees (forests)? I'm not saying I'm right - I'm just asking if anyone can explain to me why I'm wrong.
I have a bee yard located in a grove of hardwoods and they do fine. In fact, for some reason they rarely swarm, unlike my hives that are located in the open. Those in the woods forage on Tulip Poplar, black locust, sourwood, in addition to the wildflowers which grow in nearby fields.
scut farkas,the idea of hives facing east or south in part sun,is so the sun will warm the hive early and the bees start working early and be in the shade in the afternoon.This and screen bottom boards,cuts way down on fanning and bearding[in my operation anyway]As for feral bees theres not a large perecentage of them left in my area due to the mites.If to many leaves build up around your hives, they will harbor unwanted insects and mice.I had an old beekeeper friend[gone now]tell me if you don!t have many choices, place them in complete sun?I might add that all my hives have a top entrance,this helps to ventilate the hive.I hope this helps,i!m sure you will get some better responses.
One of the biggest problem will be SHB. Seeing that you're in the south, you'll very likely have to deal with them soon. Full sun is one of the primary defenses against SHB. Hives in full sun do substantially better than those in part sun/part shade. Provide plenty of ventilation and you should not have a problem with temp control.