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m0dem
05-29-2017, 04:34 PM
So, I have been doing some reading and multiple people here on BS have said that hives in the full sun perform better than hives in the shade. I have only ever had hives in full shade, so I have no personal opinion/experience on which is better.
Can someone add/elaborate to my list of reasons why full sun is better than shade?

Morning sun on the face of the hive
Fewer pests such as SHB (fewer pests == fewer diseases)

I want to hear your experiences. Thank you.

Nugget Shooter
05-29-2017, 04:38 PM
Big time location important question here as in Arizona's desert "full sun" gets ya melted wax in summer running out the bottom, we use trees etc. to get defused sun and avoid creating a Langstroth oven :eek:

Beehumble79
05-29-2017, 04:45 PM
Big time location important question here as in Arizona's desert "full sun" gets ya melted wax in summer running out the bottom, we use trees etc. to get defused sun and avoid creating a Langstroth oven :eek:

I've often wondered about this. Where I'm at in South Carolina, I can't imagine that full sun through the summer is optimal.....at all.

Brad Bee
05-29-2017, 05:12 PM
My hives are in the full sun and they do fine in the summer. No screened bottom boards here. It doesn't get "wax melting" hot here. Maybe a few days at 100-102 but mostly 90's during the summer. Seems like we set a record last year with consecutive days over 90, with close to 120.

Remember, the brood nest stays 93 degrees, year round...

Billboard
05-29-2017, 05:45 PM
Let me ask this, why do you have you hives in shade?

m0dem
05-29-2017, 06:17 PM
Let me ask this, why do you have you hives in shade?

Because I thought it would be better out of the summer heat.
Around here, the summer highs are usually 110-120f. There are many days in the summer that are north of 100f.
The commercial beekeeper I know who has +250 hives within several miles of me keeps his hives in full sun all the time.
I am leaning more towards full sun now.

Nugget Shooter
05-29-2017, 06:25 PM
Only partial shade here and we have no beetles so not a worry, mites yes..... Another subject. We see temps 117 and sometimes higher....

Rader Sidetrack
05-29-2017, 06:32 PM
Around here, the summer highs are usually 110-120f. There are many days in the summer that are north of 100f.

As I recall, you are in the Vancouver WA area. As a former Washington resident,:) I find it hard to believe that "summer highs are usually 110-120f." The article below is from August 2012:

Temperatures blew past the century mark in Vancouver this afternoon, hitting a record 103 degrees before easing as evening began.

The National Weather Service station at Pearson Field recorded a temperature of 100 degrees at 4:53 p.m., with a peak temperature of 103 in the six hours previous. The NWS reported temperatures of 101 degrees at 2:53 p.m. and 102 degrees at 3:53 p.m.

It was the first time Vancouver had recorded a temperature above 100 in three years, said Steve Pierce, president of the Oregon chapter of the American Meteorological Society.

We have to go back to July 29, 2009, to see another high temperature above the century mark, Pierce said. That day also happened to see the highest temperature recorded at Pearson: 108 degrees.

The previous record high for Aug. 4 was 99 degrees in 1952.

http://www.columbian.com/news/2012/aug/04/temperatures-break-century-mark-vancouver/


My hives in NE Tennessee are in full sun.

Billboard
05-30-2017, 02:48 AM
Well why are you leaning towards full sun are you having problems with the hive in shade? Reason i ask is whats going on that your questioning your initial hive placement.

missybee
05-30-2017, 03:58 AM
We have ours in full sun. In the past four years we have only seen one hive beetle.

enjambres
05-30-2017, 04:43 AM
Mine are in full sun in northern NY, and I still have a few hive beetles each summer, though they never reach the problem stage.

If I lived in the PACNW, my hives would be in the sun, not for SHB reasons, but more for keeping them active and busy in the rainy cool temps. (Though I know the eastern part of WA is different and hotter and drier than the coastal side. Still, I don't think bees in ID, MT, ND, etc., need shade to keep them healthy all summer, either.)

Don't confuse heat index temps with air temps.

Enj.

Charlestonbee
05-30-2017, 06:32 AM
In in South Carolina and I put them in full sun. I put 4 hives in a shady area near a ditch to run a test and see if it matters. These hives were booming. I pulled 2 nucs off of the four. The nucs got slimed. I left the 4 main hives devoid of any beetle traps. Again they were booming made over 150lbs of honey w each one. The beetle population grew and grew. I pulled honey in July and they were slimed by November. I use solid bottom boards now and full sun. No inner cover. In my area I have some friends who have backyard hives where they can't get full sun and they all contain more beetles. Not enough to take down the hives though.

m0dem
05-30-2017, 08:12 AM
Well why are you leaning towards full sun are you having problems with the hive in shade? Reason i ask is whats going on that your questioning your initial hive placement.

They're dead. (not saying it's related to shade vs. sun)
Most commercial beekeepers [have to] put their hives in full sun.


I don't think we have any problems with SHB up here in the North.

WISHBONE
05-30-2017, 08:31 AM
I also live in S.C. (upstate). All mine are in full sun. Very few shb or mites. I don't treat for anything now. When I had them in the shade, I had to treat them but it never worked for long. Back in the 80's, I kept them in the afternoon shade. Ran out of room, so caught 2 swarms and had to put them in full sun. Those 2 hives made 7 shallow supers each, so I started putting them in the sun more often. Then when the shb & mites came I spent a lot of money on treatments, but still lost most of my bees. All my bees have been in full sun for 15 or 20 years now, but the ones facing south & on the hill do a lot better than the ones lower & facing east.

m0dem
05-30-2017, 08:38 AM
All my bees have been in full sun for 15 or 20 years now, but the ones facing south & on the hill do a lot better than the ones lower & facing east.

So, the ones that get a more direct noon sun are better off than the ones that get a direct first morning sun?

Or is it just because the east-facing hives are lower? (Do they get early morning sun?)

psm1212
05-30-2017, 08:50 AM
I keep two hives on a very shaded lot and 7 hives in full sun. The two hives in the shade are my most prolific hives and have the greatest honey harvest for the past 2 years. However, SHB are a constant battle for me with these 2 hives. I have them on Freeman-style bottom boards with oil traps. If their populations were not so high, I am sure they would get overrun. The ones I have in full sun are all average hives with decent honey production. I rarely see SHB in them.

Just my experience.

m0dem
05-30-2017, 08:53 AM
As I recall, you are in the Vancouver WA area. As a former Washington resident,:) I find it hard to believe that "summer highs are usually 110-120f."

Central Washington. Lot different over here. :)
Whenever I hear that Washington is the "Evergreen State," I have a good chuckle. According to usclimatedata.com, we get an average rainfall of 7 and 1/2 inches of rain per year. I didn't know it was that much. :eek:
Yesterday was 96f.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/publications/fulltext/Hydraulics/WaMeanAnnPrecip.pdf

D Coates
05-30-2017, 09:06 AM
Personally I've got over 40 in full sun. SHB's are there but 5-10 per hive. I've got 8 hives in as full sun as I can in that location. I'd bet 75% sun. Those hives have 50-100 when I pop them open. I'll be taking out some trees or moving the hives next year to try to get the SHB numbers down. I do have a 1.25" hole in a shim between the inner and outer cover and use solid bottom boards so there is some additional ventilation for those hot days.

WISHBONE
05-30-2017, 09:15 AM
So, the ones that get a more direct noon sun are better off than the ones that get a direct first morning sun?

Or is it just because the east-facing hives are lower? (Do they get early morning sun?)

Mine are in full sun all day, no shade at all. I'm sure yours will do different than mine. You just have to figure out what works best for you. My dad & Grandpa always faced there hives east so they would catch the morning sun quicker, but I've had better results from the ones facing south. Seems that what works for some bees does not work for others. I don't use any foundation, and my south facing hives normally build straight comb while my east facing hives normally build crossed comb.

volare71
06-12-2017, 07:40 AM
I want to reinforce Nugget Shooter's experience. Here in the Verde Valley (zone 8) the hives need morning sun and afternoon shade.

ToeOfDog
06-16-2017, 04:56 AM
Mine get 2 or 3 hours of evening sun.

The brood nest of a large cell colony is around 93*F. Natural cell a degree or two higher. What happens when the temperature goes above that level???? The colony will beard if in the evening. They will also send foragers to seek water so they can swamp cool the hive. They will reassign workload away from honey production towards airconditioning.

After one of these incidents where the mother left a child in the car during the summer and the child died from heat, I put a recording thermometer into a white car. It got up to 150*F in about 30 minutes. Yes, I live in the subtropics of the Deep South. What's the difference in a white car and a white hive? You are greatly increasing the heat load leaving the hive in the full sun.

Beekeeping is location dependent. Locally, where do ferel swarms choose to build? A lot choose trees. Trees are in the shade. How many choose to build in an attic?????

I have few SHBs. SHBs are more of a management and genetic issue. Of my 20 hives 19 are ferals and Carpenters allogroomers and one is a split that someone gave me off a South GA package . Guess which one has the most SHB. There is no comparison.

Eikel
06-16-2017, 05:40 AM
Let me ask this, why do you have you hives in shade?

Because full sun isn't always an option and not having it isn't a major catastrophe. Home yard and out yards are among the trees, some get morning sun, some afternoon and some none; none are "brushed" in, all receive ventilation and not in low areas. SHB population ebb and flow from year to year, you deal with them. I occasionally lose a hive but most are strong, produce sufficiently and overwinter well.

Rader Sidetrack
06-16-2017, 05:59 AM
What's the difference in a white car and a white hive?
To start with, cars have lots of glass that isn't found in a typical hive. The sun's rays are largely reflected by white opaque materials, but largely pass through glass. And once inside the vehicle, most of that solar energy is absorbed by the interior materials of the passenger area. A car is a poor model of what happens to a hive in the sun.

Planner
06-16-2017, 06:43 AM
I have two yards with most hives in one yard and only a few in another yard. Based on 10 years of experience the hives that receives late morning sun are much weaker than the early morning sun hives. It may have to do with queen and a variety of other issues but I am convinced that in my geographical location, the hives receiving early morning sun do much better. Although there are exceptions the best performers receive the first morning sun and generally are in the sun all day until late afternoon. I attribute this to my observation that the bees do not become active until they receive a certain amount of warmth from the morning sun. I could follow the pattern of the sun as it rises on my hives and the bee activity is directly attributable to the time the sun shines on the hive. Few exceptions.

antonioh
06-16-2017, 10:22 AM
In full sun, bees fly erlyer in post-winter flights , so weak and diseased bees die far from the hive.

Bees usualy mantain a fair temperature inside the hive. I have them in full sun, some near Lisbon that in summer max. temp. is @ 35 ~38 Celsius and some further north, near Spain where temp. arrives to 40~44 Celsius.

Last year Ive monitored the temperature inside the hives in both places with a chip measure during all summer. The highest temp. registered was 45 C in Lisbon at 1~1.30 pm (in August) and 47 C in the second place @ 2 pm at first of September ( in a day that was a heat stroke of 45 C ).

m0dem
06-16-2017, 12:23 PM
The brood nest of a large cell colony is around 93*F. Natural cell a degree or two higher. What happens when the temperature goes above that level???? The colony will beard if in the evening. They will also send foragers to seek water so they can swamp cool the hive. They will reassign workload away from honey production towards airconditioning.

After one of these incidents where the mother left a child in the car during the summer and the child died from heat, I put a recording thermometer into a white car. It got up to 150*F in about 30 minutes. Yes, I live in the subtropics of the Deep South. What's the difference in a white car and a white hive? You are greatly increasing the heat load leaving the hive in the full sun.


Bees don't just collect water for aircon, otherwise they wouldn't have been sitting on the bottom board lapping up water from the rain last night (<60F temperature).
Maybe the correlation of water collection in hot and dry periods is more than just aircon. The bees need water for other processes...

I'd argue that bees do a decent job on their own.

m0dem
06-16-2017, 12:25 PM
To start with, cars have lots of glass that isn't found in a typical hive. The sun's rays are largely reflected by white opaque materials, but largely pass through glass. And once inside the vehicle, most of that solar energy is absorbed by the interior materials of the passenger area. A car is a poor model of what happens to a hive in the sun.

:thumbsup: And a bee hive isn't completely sealed up from airflow like a car is.

antonioh
06-16-2017, 02:39 PM
In full sun, bees fly erlyer in post-winter flights , so weak and diseased bees die far from the hive.

Bees usualy mantain a fair temperature inside the hive. I have them in full sun, some near Lisbon that in summer max. temp. is @ 35 ~38 Celsius and some further north, near Spain where temp. arrives to 40~44 Celsius.

Last year Ive monitored the temperature inside the hives in both places with a chip measure during all summer. The highest temp. registered was 45 C in Lisbon at 1~1.30 pm (in August) and 47 C in the second place @ 2 pm at first of September ( in a day that was a heat stroke of 45 C ).

The chip was placed under the top cover on Langstroth single deep hives , so above the chip there was only the top cover and the roof.

jimbo3
08-11-2019, 06:18 PM
I have two yards with most hives in one yard and only a few in another yard. Based on 10 years of experience the hives that receives late morning sun are much weaker than the early morning sun hives. It may have to do with queen and a variety of other issues but I am convinced that in my geographical location, the hives receiving early morning sun do much better. Although there are exceptions the best performers receive the first morning sun and generally are in the sun all day until late afternoon. I attribute this to my observation that the bees do not become active until they receive a certain amount of warmth from the morning sun. I could follow the pattern of the sun as it rises on my hives and the bee activity is directly attributable to the time the sun shines on the hive. Few exceptions.

So would you say the entrance position has something to do with it, or not so much? If my hives all got the same sunlight, should I worry about entrance location?

edit: wow, didn't see how old the post was

Cyberman
08-17-2019, 04:13 PM
I've often wondered about this. Where I'm at in South Carolina, I can't imagine that full sun through the summer is optimal.....at all.

I live in South Carolina. I keep mine in full sun but I use screened hive bottoms and screened inner covers. The bees can keep it cool with enough ventilation.
Beeswax melts at 185 F.