hive location
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Thread: hive location

  1. #1

    Default hive location

    Hello all,

    I just finished building my first 4 hives and am trying to find the best location in my backyard to place them. I built cathedral style top bar hives that will be about 3' off the ground. I've checked local rules and have narrowed it down to one of 2 locations. I am planning on putting a small stock tank next to the hives for water. My neighbor has a pool I would like to keep the bees out of as much as possible. Both locations are more than 50' from the pool. I've read

    The most out of the way spot is on the north side of my workshop between the building and my neighbor's 8' fence. It would be easy to get to and about as far away from my neighbor's pool as I could get. It would be easy to fence if I needed to. I have dogs that are out on the property when I'm out working, one of which might decide bees are snacks. They don't get out near the shop unless we're out working in the yard too. The disadvantage is that it wouldn't get morning sun, but its well sheltered. This spot is probably my preference if the bees would still do well.

    The other spot would be near the east side of the shop. It would get sun in the morning but the bees taking off would be in line of the path to the shop. I suppose I could turn the entrances towards the shop to make the bees fly higher. Maybe place them 3-6' away from the wall.

    Located in Kansas City so winter and summer aren't horrible.

    I would love suggestions.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: hive location

    Couple of things, there are your so called ideal locations, and then there is what works best. Place the hives where they are easy for you to work. That is the most important. Then consider property line set backs and flight paths. Bees are over your head about 4' from the hive entrance so that usually is not a problem. Hives are placed in full sun to help control SHB. Bees in the wild generally select more shaded locations. The dogs will quickly discover that bee snacks are simply not worth the ensuing pain. Some dogs are smarter than others. It took my lab several forays into the beeyard before he figured out that it is a place best avoided.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 03-09-2020 at 04:36 PM.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3

    Default Re: hive location

    I think it's 6 of 1 and a half dozen of the other. No real difference in workability at either site. I think my wife would still tolerate either spot. I know I don't want to move them once I get everything set and level. The hives are heavy enough empty. Hopefully I can get a local to take a peek and give some advice too.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: hive location

    Let your wife decide then. It will make life easier later.

    Make sure the local guy giving you advice is not buying bees every year and preferably has topbar style hives.

    Cathedral hives are cool. Please post pictures of yours when you can.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5

    Default

    The hives were a beast to build. I started from a cottonwood I had cut and taken to a sawmill. I didn’t get my joinery as nice as I would have liked but I think they’ll hold together. They sure turned out pretty though and I learned a lot.

    If I do more, I might do a more standard top bar. Milling all of the cathedral top bars was an enormous pain.

    I’m going to do some more site walking and thinking in the next couple of weeks before I do my final set. At least I have some time before I pick up my bee packages.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: hive location

    Quote Originally Posted by lebrown87 View Post
    If I do more, I might do a more standard top bar. Milling all of the cathedral top bars was an enormous pain.
    When I saw my first cathedral hive, I was really impressed with the wood working. Then I started thinking about how many of those top bars were needed with all the 30 angles and reinforcing splines and said "maybe another day".
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7

    Default Re: hive location

    Its been raining out here so my yard is a swamp, but I got my hives placed yesterday. I ended up placing them on the east side of the building. They'll get morning sun, but be protected in the afternoons. I should be able to come in and work the hives in the middle without getting in the flight path too much. Bees should be coming next week. Hopefully installing won't be too much of an issue. I'm a little worried about installing 2 packages at once. I'm going to try a queen excluder on the entrance for a couple of days with feeders inside the hives.
    IMG_1635.jpgIMG_1634.jpgIMG_1636.jpg

    Edit: I don't know why pics are upside down. They are correct on my PC when I uploaded them.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    5,210

    Default Re: hive location

    See if you can get someone with experience to help you install the first package. It is easy, but it is nice to have someone show you queen cage placement and how to get all the bees out of the box.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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