any tips on forest beekeeping?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    681

    Question any tips on forest beekeeping?

    Hi, y'all,

    the past year I had bees in my backyard, which is an open space. For next year I want to expand into the forest. This is for practical purposes because I have limited open (no trees) space, but I have six acres of forest.

    So I'm seeking tips from folks that keep bees under trees, any special considerations?

    Regards,
    Thomas
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
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    764

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    Most everything will be fine, just keep an eye on the SHB levels in late summer. May want to have extra mechanical traps in the hives.
    Ask two beekeepers, get three answers

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Parthenon, Ar,USA
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    263

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    My property is forested and surrounded by about 2000 acres of National forest. My biggest concern is bears. Bee yards need to be built with a strong cattle panel fence with solar electric fence across the top and about 18" off the ground. I also try to locate spots that get as much sun as possible.

    I hope this is helpful.
    Neill
    Herbhome Farm USDA zone 7a

  5. #4
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    Mar 2017
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    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    thanks for that tip!
    Quote Originally Posted by Branman View Post
    Most everything will be fine, just keep an eye on the SHB levels in late summer. May want to have extra mechanical traps in the hives.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    681

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    Neill, thanks for the tips.

    Bears wow! I'm lucky because basically I'm the burbs.
    The closest bear is (was) in a cage in a petting zoo.
    Poor bear....

    As for sunny spots in the forest, I do wish I could cut some trees down, but because they are on a flood plain that apparently would run afoul of the powers that be. Oh well....

    Quote Originally Posted by herbhome View Post
    My property is forested and surrounded by about 2000 acres of National forest. My biggest concern is bears. Bee yards need to be built with a strong cattle panel fence with solar electric fence across the top and about 18" off the ground. I also try to locate spots that get as much sun as possible.

    I hope this is helpful.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,414

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    I would second the sunshine recommendation. My property is next to undeveloped forested land and half of my land is covered with large trees. Find the sunniest spot you can or the bees won't be leaving the hive until late morning. Really cuts into the honey production. This spring I need to move four of the hives out of the shade and turn them to face south.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,393

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    Healthy hives do great in shade. My biggest concern is a tree landing on them. In North, Middle Tennessee, finding a spot without a potential tree landing is a challenge haha.
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio (SE Ohio) USA
    Posts
    817

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    I have mine on the edge of the woods facing East to get morning sun. Also, think there's an added advantage as it provides shade in summer and windbreak in bad weather. SHB is a concern, but monitoring those and mites, etc. is part of keeping bees.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
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    1,943

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee's Bees LLC View Post
    Healthy hives do great in shade. My biggest concern is a tree landing on them. In North, Middle Tennessee, finding a spot without a potential tree landing is a challenge haha.
    Isn't that the truth.

  11. #10
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    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio (SE Ohio) USA
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    817

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee's Bees LLC View Post
    Healthy hives do great in shade. My biggest concern is a tree landing on them. In North, Middle Tennessee, finding a spot without a potential tree landing is a challenge haha.
    Following up on this line of thought, I"d look carefully at any overhanging branches when placing hives. In my woods, I notice branches coming down more often than the entire tree. A branch wouldn't have to be too big to damage a hive.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    If you put a screened bottom board with tray under it you can forget about SHB. The Forman Trap or the IPK by greenbeehives.com have special screen with openings large enough for the SHB to fall through, but too small for bees. The bees learn to just bump the SHB and they are toast. You can us cooking oil or soapy water in the tray. Also, collects a lot of ants and any SHB larvae looking for the ground.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    2,438

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Hi, y'all,

    the past year I had bees in my backyard, which is an open space. For next year I want to expand into the forest. This is for practical purposes because I have limited open (no trees) space, but I have six acres of forest.

    So I'm seeking tips from folks that keep bees under trees, any special considerations?

    Regards,
    Thomas
    Here is one, Thomas.
    Skunks.
    Forest means skunks.

    This is one reason I started doing the entrances the way I do (see pictures in "about upper ventilation").
    This way it is very easy to just staple the skunk screen (#2 screen) to the lower entrances OR even to all of them.
    Since I have out yards, have to be ready for skunks at any time.
    Forest is great; but skunks will take some adjustments.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,931

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Neill, thanks for the tips.

    Bears wow! I'm lucky because basically I'm the burbs.
    The closest bear is (was) in a cage in a petting zoo.
    Poor bear....

    As for sunny spots in the forest, I do wish I could cut some trees down, but because they are on a flood plain that apparently would run afoul of the powers that be. Oh well....
    I lost seven two deep hives with honey supers on a floodplain recently...I'd think about that placement again if I were you.
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    681

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    Hey, Greg,

    thanks for the tip.

    the #2 screen is that the 1/4 inch screen or something bigger?

    We got possums here. I think they might do the same thing skunks do?

    Heart,
    thomas
    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Here is one, Thomas.
    Skunks.
    Forest means skunks.

    This is one reason I started doing the entrances the way I do (see pictures in "about upper ventilation").
    This way it is very easy to just staple the skunk screen (#2 screen) to the lower entrances OR even to all of them.
    Since I have out yards, have to be ready for skunks at any time.
    Forest is great; but skunks will take some adjustments.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    681

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    Sorry to hear about that!

    IDK I guess I'll chance it. There was a "1000 year" flood a couple of years before we moved onto our land that flooded most of the forest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    I lost seven two deep hives with honey supers on a floodplain recently...I'd think about that placement again if I were you.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,438

    Default Re: any tips on forest beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Hey, Greg,

    thanks for the tip.

    the #2 screen is that the 1/4 inch screen or something bigger?

    We got possums here. I think they might do the same thing skunks do?

    Heart,
    thomas
    I meant 1/2 inch (pretty sure the same as #2).
    You don't want 1/4 inch anti-skunk screen (bees will be loosing some of the pollen getting through it).
    Unsure of the possums; check Michael Bush's site on the subject.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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