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I have two questions. Is it OK to face the entrance of a hive into a wall? And, should I worry about a small nuc hive that isn’t taking 1:1 sugar water?

I am getting two new packages next month and would like to point the entrances towards the block wall in the back yard so the bees aren’t flying straight out into the yard. The wall is 4-5 inches from where I have put the hive stand and about 6 foot tall. This part of the yard is also sheltered from the wind. Is it OK to have this type setup? Last year the hives were facing out into the yard and in the wind, and didn’t make it through the winter. My guess is that they were robbed out when I wasn’t looking, so I’m starting over and don’t want to loose the colonies again.

And on the brighter side, I captured a small swarm in a nuc last week. I put on a feeder to get them building comb, but the bees aren’t taking the 1:1 syrup I gave them. Is this normal? The bees are busy flying in and out with massive amounts of pollin. We have a lot of trees and brush in bloom in the neighborhood so they are not going hungry. I just want to make sure they are building up fast so I can move them into a 10 frame hive. My old package bees loved to be fed no matter what the flower conditions were. I guess it could be feral bees vs. store bought bees, if so I like it.
 

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from my limited knowledge, I believe that they should have at least several feet, not 4-5 inches for a flight path. They need to maneuver when they are coming in with heavy loads of pollen and you can see them making a slow, straight landing when they have the room. I can't imagine that they would be able to achieve this without proper space.
They should typically be facing southeast, which in most parts of the country, is away from the wind. if the other orientation that you had them was facing into the wind, it was likely west or north. Can you face them SE with more space?
 

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they'll be ok with 4 inches. they wont take sugar water if natural nectar is available. watch the nuc- they fill up and swarm pretty quick. good luck,mike
 

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I use a wall of tan shade cloth to conceal, shade, and direct my bees to fly up, out of the way of passersby. Their entrances are about four to six inches from the walls of shade cloth. They have been configured this way for more than a decade now and it hasn't visibly hindered their development in any way - bees, like many other plants and animals are very adaptable.

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Nearly every time I've heard absolutes used to describe the performance or behavior of plants/animals, they almost always go out of their way, it seems, to make that assumption, false. I used to do this quite a bit, until I realized this "truism", now I work hard not to make such statements, I still struggle to avoid using absolutes in these contexts.
 

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You may want to leave a little working room, just in case? Typically you probably do not want to work a hive from the front anyways.

One Beek I know has his hives in an "unfinished shed" (without a roof) so the neighbors would not see them. They just flew pretty much straight up and out. I recommend that you give them a foot or so.

If it does not work out you could set up a super with a top entrance and then turn the bottom board next winter?
 
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