Re: What do you look for in a new bee yard?
1. Shade in the middle of the day, sunshine in early morning.
2. Water readily available
3. Not in a low area, cold air settles in low places which can limit foragers from flying
4. room to put up a fence if applicable
5. Windbreak either from trees or from a slatted fence if necessary. (this is one of the most critical wintering requirements)
6. Accessible by vehicle
7. most critical - has lots of flowers to make a crop from
8. second most critical - has early spring nectar available for buildup
I have a few colonies in a location that fails on #8. I have to feed just a bit in early spring to stimulate them to raise enough brood for early buildup to make a crop from flowers that bloom in late April. It is a pita to have to do the feeding, but the location is otherwise excellent with good crops of honey each year. It is shaded by huge old oak trees from mid to late afternoon, there is a small river 100 yards away, it is on a low hill, fence is not needed, trees provide a wind break, there is a decent dirt road to drive right to the location, and I get a good crop of honey each year. I also happen to own the place which makes it worth the effort of spring stimulus feeding.
NW Alabama, 46 years, 24 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest