Hive Placement, Urban Yard
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Hive Placement, Urban Yard

    I am new to this forum and urban beekeeping. I have recently reclaimed the space to the side of my garage. It is roughly 3.5 feet wide and 20 feet deep. The long fence to the left in the photo faces east. The short fence in the rear faces south. Is this area too small or sunless to keep a single hive? The fence is 6 feet tall. The garage is taller clearly. I can place the hive on the other side of the fence (I have a larger side yard). I was hoping to avoid that since that is an area more active for my dog/family and has a formal lawn that I would be moving close to the hive. That said placing the hive on the other side of the fence would give the hive direct morning sun. Thoughts? I would love to use this narrower space if possible of the hive. Thanks in advance!
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Guilford, CT
    Posts
    325

    Default Re: Hive Placement, Urban Yard

    You do what you want but since you asked I will give you my thoughts.

    Hives in sun do better than hives in shade. In all aspects, but particularly in disease prevention. Morning sun hitting the hive is ideal.

    Working this hive in that area looks like it would be a pain.

    I'm unclear what the flight path would be for this hive. Would you walk down the alley towards the face of the hive?

    Speaking of your dog. Would you tie him up or put a dog house in this small area for him/her. If not it's probably not a place the bees will want to be, and unlike a chained dog they will just leave and pick a better spot.

    In short I wouldn't pick it without a lot more understanding as to why, and not based on how much more ideal your description is for the other spot.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Hive Placement, Urban Yard

    The second hive option I mentioned is in my open yard space. In the photo the face of the fence faces East and would have direct morning sun. My dog would not be chained. Mostly outside with direct supervision. I almost never have her out in the yard alone. I only wished to avoid this area because it is exposed to my neighbor (short chain link fence on the opposite side of yard) and I would have to mow the lawn close to the hive.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    erie, pa
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Hive Placement, Urban Yard

    3.5 feet is simply too close to work around a hive. The shade offers a poor place for the bees and a good place for Small Hive Beetles (SHB). Wherever you decide to place then You will want to be able to comfortable stand behind them to work. Sunshine is very helpful in detouring SHB. The earlier the hive receives sun the sooner the bees will begin foraging.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,244

    Default Re: Hive Placement, Urban Yard

    The space is probably on the narrow side. How about right behind/next to the ornamental grass in the first picture?

    You will enjoy your hive more if it is easier to view. You will be amazed at how much time you will spend watching bugs fly in and out of box.

    While some sun is preferrable to all shade don't let that be the deciding factor.

    I have found that dogs pretty quickly figure out to steer clear of the hive entrance. Other animals, specifically skunks would be a concern. It is also nice to hive hives in urban areas a little out of the way. Most people are fine. But, there is always someone who says they are deathly allergic to bees and they live two blocks away and your bees have been all over their yard every since you brought them in! Keeping hives out of sight lets you decide who finds out and who doesn't. At least until the bee inspector shows up!

    Fences or other tall objects force bee flight patterns up higher which is good in urban areas.

    Have fun,

    Tom

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    743

    Default Re: Hive Placement, Urban Yard

    I agree with prior posts... sun is good, as is easy access to get behind or to the side of the hive (particularly when you have to remove boxes for inspections or are taking off honey supers. I'd put it right against the fence by the big pot. Your dog will quickly learn to avoid it, only real issue might be mowing the lawn directly in front of it (but you could do that early or late in the day).

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: Hive Placement, Urban Yard

    The absolute best place you could put them is up on your roof. (that's what your neighbors, wife, kids, and pets want so why not?) @@@
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,892

    Default Re: Hive Placement, Urban Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by aunt betty View Post
    The absolute best place you could put them is up on your roof. (that's what your neighbors, wife, kids, and pets want so why not?) @@@
    In 1975 I produced 800 lbs off three hives on a one story roof and said "NEVER AGAIN!!!" Everything has to be carried up and everything has to be carried down. Maybe with a stairway and good legs and a lot of help.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Rome, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Hive Placement, Urban Yard

    I live in a downtown historic district on a 65 ft wide lot; I set up so that the flight paths are over my yard (vs towards a fence or lot line) and where the hives can catch morning sun.
    To address curious pets on one, i put a small vinyl hardware cloth fence to create a little courtyard in front of the hive, only 3 ft tall and 3 feet of clearance from the hive entrance. it keeps snouts away from the hive entrance and they fly over everything in front of the hive due to the angle to clear the short fence.

    hivefence1.jpg

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
    Posts
    1,352

    Default Re: Hive Placement, Urban Yard

    I've had hives in a lot of places, and learned a bit form each one.
    You do need enough room to lift an 80+lb deep and *pivot* instead of lifting it to put it out of the way while working a hive.

    I once placed a hive 18 or 20 inches form a vertical, 3 story wall.
    The bees oriented on the wall, and would fly all the way to the roofline when leaving, or come zooming out of the entrance flying up to the top of the hive and then depart, climbing steeply.

    I set it up that way to avoid flight path conflict with a nearby foot path.

    I'd put the hive near the northeast corner, about 2 feet from the fence.

    The bees will be over head high by the time they cross the neighbor's yard, no no traffic conflicts, they will get sun most of the day. and you have lots room to pivot and set heavy boxes down without lifting much or bumping into walls in a confined space.

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