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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,680

    Default Is it more important

    to have the hives facing the east so that the first sun lights hits the entrance thus causing the bees to start their foraging day earlier or to have the hive slope towards the entrance? One of my bee yards has a small slope to it and if i don't elevate the downward side of the hive stand, the hives slope away from the entrance. I can turn the hives around or raise the back of the hive stands. But since most nectar flows don't start much before 9:00AM, how much difference does it really make?

    This is one of those "problems" that is easier to think about rather than solve. Not that either turning the hives or jacking up the back of the hive stands would take long.

    How much effort do commercial beeks using pallets make to ensure that the pallet is level?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,250

    Default Re: Is it more important

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    How much effort do commercial beeks using pallets make to ensure that the pallet is level?
    From a sun and wind exposure standpoint our needs are a bit different in that we don't typically winter in the same locations. I don't like a location with much slope at all because with 4 way pallets 2 hives will end up facing uphill and the bottom boards can end up full of water, we do drill drain holes but bees will often seal them up. I hate turning then sideways though since they can get tippy if you get much of a crop on them.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,922

    Default Re: Is it more important

    I have hives that are basically in a circle so they face every direction. I don't notice much difference. I do face them south if I have the choice, but I don't worry about it. My queen castles have holes on three sides and I don't notice any difference in them either. I do think that the east facing ones start flying 15 minutes or so earlier, but I don't think that it make that much difference.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: Is it more important

    It probably would work out if you faced them any direction, though you might see a slight improvement if you faced them east in the morning and then turned them around later. I don't think it would really be all that worth the effort, especially if the hives were heavy, but as I have never tried it I wouldn't know for sure. Mine seem to do just fine and produce lots facing one direction.


    Nathan
    Good enough is perfect - Joel Salatin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Is it more important

    Why don't you use a shim under the hive itself to level it out?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,680

    Default Re: Is it more important

    Quote Originally Posted by CaBees View Post
    Why don't you use a shim under the hive itself to level it out?
    I have found hives more stable if the hive stand is shimmed, rather than the individual hives. I use the Mike Palmer method of hive stands intended to make it easy to weigh the hives each fall prior to feeding. A hive stand is made out of an 8 foot pressure treated 2x4. Two 1 foot cross pieces go inside two four foot edges. Simple and cheap. My electric fences keep out anything that might like to hang out and munch on bees with the hives at such a low level. Two hives go on each stand.

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