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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    416

    Default Location of 5 Hives

    I have just about completed my second year and my hives are in a row about 4 to 5 feet apart facing south. The most easterly hive has been the best by far for 2 years and the most westerly hive has been the worst. I have had a couple of supers on the easterly hive where as the others have only one super. The hives in between are average.The easterly hive has more activity, more bees and just does better. Does anyone have any suggestions for arranging my 5 hives for next year. Perhaps they shouldn't be in a line or mayBEE to close. The area is an open area in he woods but receive sun all day and I provide a continuous source of water for all hives.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    Considering they are 4 to 5 feet apart, I don't think it matters. I have five hives on two - 12' 4x4" post (horizontal) and they are 2-3 inches apart. I have three bee yards on different farms just like this. From my experience, the more sun they have, expecially in the morning, the better the hive does because it wakes them up. I don't like any shade for my hives. If it is getting over 100 degrees in the summer, I put a piece of barn metal on top of bricks on top of their hive. This creates a 3" air space between the top of the hive and the metal. It takes the sun's heat off of the boxes.

    Phil
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Brookshire, Texas
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    I think it's just coincidence that the east hive is doing so well and the west hive not. Commercial beekeepers that lease out hundreds of thousands of hives a year for pollination do so on wooded pallets where the hives touch each other and are moved around by fork lift.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,658

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    Change your stand so that the hives face to the East. I am betting the major nectar flows are to the East. The bees return and are heavily laden so stop off more at the first hive in the row, which gladly accepts them in as they are full of nectar/pollen. It is common for drift to the hives on the end of a row, when the hives are not facing the main flow direction. If you have multiple rows, and they all face the flow, the row in front towards the flow will be the row of hives that performs the best.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    Sun shining in the hive entrance does wake them up earlier. There is more nectar first thing in the morning. The first bee out score big.

    As for best? Bees drift to the ends on hive in rows. That may also effect the western hive as it could be shaded on the morning so they get out later.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    Ray Marler's response is spot on. I'll bet the prevailing wind is also from the east. To resolve it, just do as you mentioned and not place them in a row and maybe use different colors or hive weights so that the drifting is not encouraged. When pollinating apple orchards, it becomes important to use the prevailing wind as well to help the bees return with their loads to their hives. OMTCW

  7. #7

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    I have 30 hives in each yard and we still have drifting with pallets. The u shape to the bee yard helps with it as does different color supers. I do not think in your area you need to put water, out but it is a nice thought. If you want to see if it is really drifting swap the east hive for the west hive and you will know for sure.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    When a strong hive is exchanged in position with a weaker hive's position, the strong hive's field force tends to kill (ball) the foreign queen it finds in the original position of its own hive. Unfortunately, the death of the weaker hive's queen is not realized until much later because the hive was weak originally. Tried it much too often until I learned. OMTCW

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    416

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    That is very interesting. This is quite a learning experience.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    I have never had a issue with moving hives from pallet to pallet to boost a weak hive or make spilts. Are you sure you did it right?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    I haven't lost a queen that way either, don't know what I do different.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    santa monica, ca
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    I've never swapped a hive to equalize. Can you tell me what is right so I don't do it wrong if I need to?
    Buzz Abbott
    USDA zone 11a, Western Garden zone 24 (75 ft elev. n34.0w118.47)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,295

    Default Re: Location of 5 Hives

    Buzz, I don't know that there is a right way or wrong way, I just swap the hives and they do fine, Also I might add that I have never ended up with a dead queen because of the switch.....Bill

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