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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm toying with the idea of putting my two hives in an enclosed area. It would be a 6' tall wood privacy fence in an 8' x 8' square. Is this a bad idea? Will they not like having to fly almost straight up when they leave the hive and drop straight down when returning? Am I thinking too much? Any advice is appreciated.
 

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What you are considering is called a hive closet. They are great for getting the bees up above peoples heads if you keep hives in a location with a lot of foot traffic.

Given your location you will need to be proactive in controlling SHB as the hives will be shaded all day from the fence.
 

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In Hillsborough County Florida. I think this is actually a law. To have a fence ,they term it flyway , if hives are placed within 25' ft of property line.
 

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Can you make that fence longer and narrower so the sun hits them more of the time? I like my hives in the sun but the fence is not a bad thing.
 

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They're fine with flying up and dropping down in. Just make sure you have room to work (and maybe expand)... once you dig those post-holes you want it to be what you need for years to come :).
 

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I concur. A 6 ft tall fence in an 8x8 space will likely add too much shade. Fences are great ideas, but SHB may be a real problem in an shady situation in FL. I try to get my bees in full sun to help with SHB and I suspect that they are a much bigger problem for you.
 

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For over twenty years there has been a 16' long fence (6 ' tall) behind my home hives so that the yard behind them is accessible to foot traffic and storage of bee equipment. A one row fence has sufficed to keep the bees from bothering anyone. There is definitely the problem that was already mentioned about increase in hive numbers and it has to be considered when making the sides of the square that you mentioned. Leaving the southern exposed section open might be a consideration and you would not need a gate or door. Bees are amenable to practically any configuration. OMTCW
 

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My question is why? I have my hives in a 12'x12'x6' dog kennel as a condition to my wife "allowing me" to have hives and it works great. If you're looking for concealment then this, obviously, isn't the way to go. If it is more of a security issue my plan works great and the bees don't mind a bit. I have three hives and there is plenty of room to work.
 

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Measure out an eight foot by eight foot space and see if you think there is enough room for two hives. I would think you will need a lot more room just in case you have an chance to expand.
 

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I keep four hives in this 4'X8' fence closet and as you can see they do quite well. I have a gate at each end and the hives face each other to the inside. Very convenient to open the gates and work the bees from the back. The bees are about 20 feet away from a busy sidewalk and in a garden with constant workers. When the guard bees can't see people moving they don't bother them. I am amazed that I have even caught bait swarms on the stands inside the closet. That convinced me that all that work guys do to put bait hives up in trees is a waste of time and energy. In fact, all four hives have been caught in place. This closet is under a tree in full shade, has a few SHB but no damage.

 

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I put up 6 ft privacy fence on my bee lot when I got my first hive.
Can't imagine the tiny closet, but can't imagine living in town
Either.

But bees do like to hide, I can see where this would work.
Gypsi
 

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I've been planning to put up a 6' high trellis that is angled out from the hive on two sides. I can grow my peas and honeysuckle on it. It will keep the girls from running into people walking by and give them really close food.
 

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My yard has a lot of foot traffic. If it gets to be an issue for the bees I was thinking when I am in the yard placing a temp. fence up to get the flight path up. When done in the yard put it up.

This is a welding screen.
Yellow-Welding-Curtain-AP-5066-.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Holy smokes Frank, those are some tight quarters. My thoughts were to build my hive stand up so that the telescoping cover was almost at the height of the top of the fence. This would give the hive an extra couple hours in the brutal Florida sun. How much time in direct sun would be ideal to lessen my chances of having to deal with an SHB issue? BTW, thanks everybody for all the input and pics.
 
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