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Newbie here. I have received a swarm 10 days ago, and I love what is happening. I am trying to do it right, thanks to the helpful and more experienced folks here who know more than I do. My gratitude for your mentorship so far.

Now, kindly give me some advice re: giving shade to my tbh. It is in my back yard, where I have no trees, and no shade. I live at 4,500' in an arid, desert-like climate, low humidity overall, cold in winter (when night lows can get to - 10 or 15 F, maybe a tad lower; daytime highs in the summer can get to 106-ish F or so). I must say that our cold winter days are almost always sunny, for what it is worth. We usually get clobbered with snow, and to this end (cold winter temps, sunny days in winter, and snow on the ground), I placed the tbh on 3 cinder blocks, in a spot in the backyard that is inundated with sunshine in the winter. There is a 6' fence about 1' behind the tbh, to its north (which is the back,short end of the tbh; the entrance is on the opposite short side, facing SSE). I have styrofoam panels to wrap the tbh in when it gets cold.

Back to the shade question, sorry if I digressed above, but wanted to explain the topography of all of this.

Our daytime temps now are in the high 70ies, soon to rise. I bought a light tan, breezy pet kennel shade cloth. I am planning on stretching this shade cloth approx. 2' to 3' horizontally above the hive, and draping it down a bit, vertically, on the west side of the hive about 1 foot away for added summer heat protection on that west end.

My question is: at what daytime temperature should I start setting up this shade cloth for the hive? I read that tbhs do not tolerate too well extended high temps (like I have here in the summer), and it is important/necessary to provide the tbhs with some filtered shade during hot summer months.

Thank you (also for any other pertinent comments/constructive criticism/ideas you may have for me on the subject of providing some shade to my tbh). PS just in case I should specify this, I would not be able to move the hive from its current location.

sylvia
 

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This is my first year as a beekeeper. But, the climate where I live isn't that much different. I am counting on a flat sheet-metal raised up on 2X material over my topbars to provide the shade I need. It will get hot a little sooner here, so I will be quick to post if this doesn't work.
 

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Only one year experience but this worked for me. I put up shade when the forecast is for 90s for a whole week(it could hit over 100 easy cause forecasts aren't perfect).

Last year it was over 100 Often, for most of 2 months here and reached 107 several times and 109 once. I put an easy-up frame-type walk-under canopy over my whole bee area so I could sit to watch the bees,look in the window and feed etc in the shade too. Rigged it so only the morning(on their door) and setting sun hit the hive and heavily anchored it against wind. I had no comb collapses. My hive has both a flat cover and peaked roof over the bars,so it started with some protection. Remember to only inspect at dawn or dusk though; no matter how much shade you provide, it'll be Soft in there for your hot months.

The bees keep their brood at 93 degrees I believe. We had early season 95 this year,2 days,but very cool nights like 45, and I haven't put mine up yet. I'll put it back up for this season when I know the true summer heat has hit. There is lots of advice about ventilation on this forum too,but I didn't need to add any. My bees bearded a few times, but not excessively at all, with their shade. If they are Really hot you'll see half the hive all out front moving the hive air Out!

BTW the old flier bees did Not like the canopy the first few days and got grumpy (put it up early morn or late) but then all was fine again (for the new fliers it was part of their orientation to start with, so no prob later).

So,I'd say experiment with whatever type of shade make sense for your situation and best wishes! HB
 

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I don't see any reason you can't put it up as soon as you are ready. It is certainly warm enough now that the hives don't need any direct sun. I Los like to have the hives get morning sun if possible to get them working right away in the morning. I put my KTBHs under a tree to get some shade during the midday sun. WI isn't nearly as hot, though.
 

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Since you already have styrofoam panels, just set an appropriately sized panel of foam directly on top of the lid of the TBH. Add a few bricks to hold it down. You can leave it there all year.

Make sure your bees have access to a reliable/consistent water source within a reasonable distance. The bees will haul water when necessary to do evaporative cooling to cool the brood area to 94 degrees.
 

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I go back and forth on the shade issue. I moved one hive into full sun last year in order to keep the ****roaches out and help with small hive beetles. Our temps and humidity in Georgia get a lot higher than in the Southwest, and so far that hive is doing well. I have to point out, though, that this hive has a special "attic" through which excess heat can be ventilated. The roof also has reflective insulation under the corrugation panels.
 

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What type of roof do you have on your TBH?

Could you put some larger potted plants to the South of the hive so it could catch some shade? Orient the plant with late afternoon sun...maybe a bit south/southwest
 

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My favorite location is just under the edge of my south facing deck. They get sun up until late afternoon. I was just told by the boss that I would need to move them at some point. Doh!
 
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