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  1. #1

    Default Hives dont get winter sun!

    My hives will be placed at my summer house which is situated on the North side of a small hill.

    I have cut down a small shrubbery which is blocking the South-East sun. So in summer the hives will get some sun at least.

    I see now that winter sun is way too low on the horizon and the hives dont get it at all. Is this a big issue?
    I've read that bees need to do clensing flights and they do this when its a sunny day.

    I dont want my bees pooing in the hive just because the hive isnt exposed to winter sun.

    Do/did you keep hives in places which dont get winter sun? What is your observation?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Olympia, Washington

    Default Re: Hives dont get winter sun!

    I've always wintered my hives where they get sun.

    However, when swarms pick a place to hive, they prefer shaded places.

    My first colony came form a cutout that never got sun, summer or winter, and the colony had been continuously occupying the space for several years.

    Winter is fairly long where it was gathered from, with temps often below -20C.

    So bees can do quite well without being in direct sunlight.
    They'll still come out for cleansing flights when it is warm enough, they just won't get out as early.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Ft. Collins, Colorado

    Default Re: Hives dont get winter sun!

    I would think in Sweden they would need and appreciate all the available solar gain they could get. But you will be the best judge if they make it or not...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Hives dont get winter sun!

    In northern climates the bees absolutely do need winter sun.
    Is there another spot on the property which will provide better sunlight for the bees? I'd definitely plan to find another spot, or move them to a sunny location in winter and then back to your protected spot just before spring breaks.

    Best to you and your bees,
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Sacramento, CA, USA

    Default Re: Hives dont get winter sun!

    When the temp. is cold outside during the winter time, my bees are not that active in the early day time.
    They have to wait until the sun warms up the hive before going out foraging. Maybe they are concerning
    about their broods and many unhatch bees yet. After the sun warms up the hive after the noon time
    then they are more active foraging. So winter sun is very important for my honey bees. If not for foraging then
    for raising their young in a warmer bee hive. In the summer time I put 2 hives under a tree all summer long with above 100F and they do fine out in the fields. The outside temp. was too warm for them already so under the shade is good for them to regulate the hive temp.
    better. But definitely some sun in the winter time to warm them up when it is so critical for the Spring build up in population. I found out
    that honey bees are very sensitive to their changing environment. That is why they regulate their hive at a certain temp.
    So it is better if you can temporarily find them a spot with full or partial sun during the winter time. I know they can cuddle together during the winter time to get warm. But at least they don't have to cluster too tightly when the hive is warm enough in a sunny spot.


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