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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Beehives in full sun...

    Hi..newbee here..

    My hive is in full sun.
    After considering several locations on my property, this is the best I had...
    Anything in partial shade would have either been on a slope or too close to then house for comfort..

    Is being in full sun bad for them?
    I have a screened bottom board, as well as a screened inner cover..

    I have a friend who has several hives, and the one in mostly full sun doesn't seem to produce as well as the ones in partial shade..
    Mine seems lagging a bit as far as filling up frames with brood..the bottom box is full, but they haven't really done much with the top boxes (2)..

    I'm sure there are big producers who have numerous hives in their bee yards in full sun, so, maybe I'm worried about nothing.

    Your thoughts?

    P.S..Since my hive is now "established", I really can't move them, nor do I think it wise to disrupt them with a move..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,414

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    How hot does it get? Full sun is recommended at times, but if your area gets over 100 might want to provide them with some shade. With your screened bottom board, I doubt you need shade though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    If you think partial shade is better, provide them with shade. Can be as easy as leaning a piece of plywood on the side that gets the afternoon sun.
    Sun or full sun, I find my hives the same. I use all solid bottom boards. Flat plywood covers.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    I keep reading that full sun is a deterrent to SHB. Luckily, they haven't found me yet (but I know it's just a matter of time). But I do have mine in the full sun. I guess you have to find a balance and do what works the best for you.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,020

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    It regularly gets over 100F here. I know many beekeepers who have their hives in full sun, but it's never a good idea to move a hive from shade to full sun when the temps are high. Colonies can grow into knowing how to deal with being in full sun, but an abrupt learning curve can be disastrous.

    I am often harvesting bees from my full size hives, so their populations are frequently under varying degrees of stress, so I use 1-1/4" thick pieces of white polystyrene for top outer covers -- portable shade without "shade". It works like a charm.

    My nucs are another story, I keep them under the shade of a large mesquite tree where I just installed a fogging system (under the tree) to increase humidity from 5% R.H. to 55% R.H., it also drops the temperature between 20 and 30F, so it goes from over 100F to somewhere in the 70's F.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    It regularly gets over 100F here. I know many beekeepers who have their hives in full sun, but it's never a good idea to move a hive from shade to full sun when the temps are high. Colonies can grow into knowing how to deal with being in full sun, but an abrupt learning curve can be disastrous.

    I am often harvesting bees from my full size hives, so their populations are frequently under varying degrees of stress, so I use 1-1/4" thick pieces of white polystyrene for top outer covers -- portable shade without "shade". It works like a charm.

    My nucs are another story, I keep them under the shade of a large mesquite tree where I just installed a fogging system (under the tree) to increase humidity from 5% R.H. to 55% R.H., it also drops the temperature between 20 and 30F, so it goes from over 100F to somewhere in the 70's F.
    Love the fogger idea. Brutally hot here for a few days and I am opening lids on nucs to keep them from absconding. You are one creative guy Joseph!
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  7. #7

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    If you travel through south GA and north Fl during the heat of summer...and you look at the melon fields you will often see hives in the open. No shelter. No screened bottoms. My hives are mostly in full sun and do fine. The main thing is they need access to water to cool the nest. Otherwise, don't sweat it (pun intended).
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenville County, South Carolina
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    Keep them in full sun.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,042

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    I have all my hives in full sun all day and they seem to do well i think bees like heat .
    I have one hive all black 3 deep high and it's my first one to get active in the morning and the last one to quit at night.
    It's been in the 90s this week and i've seen no bearding or washboarding just lots of bees coming and going.
    15 hives and growing what a great hobby.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,670

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    Most of the time, erring on the side of sun vs. shade is OK.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,600

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    My hive is in full sun from about 10 a.m. until about 2:30 P.M. The hottest part of the day and they are booming. They also spend a lot of time fanning on hot days. No sign that there is overheating going on. They may have to work a bit to stay cool but then they don't have to work as hard keeping brood from chilling either. All work and no play makes a very happy bee.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,645

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    Some of my nucs bearding in full sun yesterday 96
    http://s1149.photobucket.com/albums/o587/circle7honey/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    Full sun for healthy hives is the way to go! My hives in shade don't even start working until 1-2 hrs after the full sun neighbors. Of course we have cool mtn. night temps, but when you drive across the country and look at all those commercial hives out in the full sun I figure those beeks definitely have a clue of what to do!
    Hugus Creek Honey Farm: St. Maries, ID / Lewiston, ID
    Like us on Facebook

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Creek County, OK
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    I've had a hive melt, but it was with a solid bottom board.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...977#post693977

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    Dunno ... but since I would certainly hate being in a box in full-sun in Georgia (USA) in the summertime, we didn't put our beehives in a place where they would receive direct sunlight all day. (That would be rather lousy, would it not?) Instead, noticing a small hardwood grove in the middle of a pasture, we put the hives there. They've got some amount of direct sunlight in the morning and/or the evening, but they don't have to worry about melting. Once the heat of the day is over, we can share a glass of sweet iced tea, while they are busy making honey nearby. A reasonable compromise given due consideration of both summer and winter conditions around these parts. Works.

    Of course: you do notice from the various responses that "your environment does vary." And maybe (probably...) that's the key. If you're in the mountains, or in the moors, or wherever-you-are such that the night is significantly different from the day, then "the night, alone" is going to give the bees ... relief. Whereas, where we live, the summer nights are only slightly cooler and not one whit less humid than the day. In our area, shade brings relief, and that's why we put our beehives where we did.

    Like all natural creatures, honeybees will either make-do with whatever environment they are dealt, or they will die trying. Since you are "the dealer," plan accordingly. As best you can.

    Q: "Beehives in full sun?"
    Q2: "Well, where do you live?"
    A: "It depends.™ Plan accordingly.™"
    Last edited by mrobinson; 06-22-2012 at 03:00 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Beehives in full sun...

    [QUOTE (That would be rather lousy, would it not?) [/QUOTE]

    Use top entrances like Michael Bush and lots of other beeks including myself and the heat is not an issue, why would you want to boil your bees in the heat when you can let that hot Georgia heat rise right out the top entrance!???
    There is a reason they put windows and attic vents in your house!

    My bees quit bearding and now concentrate on making honey instead since I went to all top entrances.
    Hugus Creek Honey Farm: St. Maries, ID / Lewiston, ID
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