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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping to be the recipient of a swarm of bees in the near future . . . as soon as one decides to grace my swarm traps! I'm going the horizontal hive path and planning on an apiary location now, so I'm ready on that happy day. <grin> There are two swarm traps up and the hive is assembled. I have an open ring of five pines and initally thought that inside the ring might be an area protected from cold north winds and severe weather, but only mid-day sun. Searching through old posts now have me leaning toward siting a hive either east of the pines, outside of the ring, or south of pine #4, if you count from the top-left, going clockwise. Thoughts on location:
  • East of the pines for early morning sun
  • South of pines for protection from the cold north weather
  • Afternoon shade to keep hives from getting too hot in the height of summer

Any other thoughts? Home is about 400' east of this group of pines. The creek to the west of the pines is something of a 'dry creek', running after rains, usually has at least pools water in it.

I appreciate thoughts about siting my hive.

John

Map Strategy video game Plain Screenshot Soil
 

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That looks reasonable to me. Is there water nearby for them? I cannot tell if that is a creek to the west, or if it is dry, but they should have some water source available.
 

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Bees can tolerate pretty high temperatures, based on your location, I would not worry about summer temps at all. Putting the hives out in the sun prevents a lot of problems like small hive beetles and a lot of diseases (like chalkbrood and EFB) since they don't like the heat. I give my hives as much southern exposure as I can, and we sometimes dip into triple digit temps on occasion (we did last year).

Your biggest enemy in Missouri are going to be those frigid winds coming off the lakes north north-east of you. The trees are a good start for a wind break, but I would stack up some straw bales or something when the temps start dropping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi bushpilot!

Thanks for the reply. That is a creek to the west and is a 'dry' creek. If it doesn't have some water running through it, there are almost always small pools - except in the driest of summer conditions.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Riverderwent,

Then, sounds like the south side of that '#4' Pine it is. It will get late afternoon summer shade and be pretty much full sun in the winter. I had also read concerns about hives getting too hot and combs becoming fragile. These are deep frames, so I'll just have to go slow and be gentle - pretty much a prerequisite anyway. :)

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Greetings Akademee,

Thanks for the info. These will be raised up off the ground quite a bit:
Table Cart Vehicle Furniture Grass

How about something like a 1" piece of Styrofoam construction board on the backside, down the ground? Maybe three sides? Don't want to make it TOO cozy under the hive!

John
 

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JayTee,
So the creek is to the west making the google shot you attached an afternoon Picture correct, My advice would result from this being true.
In the shadow between tree 3 and 4 just out from under tree 3 at 4:30 on a clock with tree 3 being the center of the clock. And 2:00 on tree 4 center, IE facing east south east barley in the shadow of the posted PIC. Tree 4 and 5 blocks the west wind
tree 2 and 3 block the north wind. you get morning sun and in the very hot summer you get some relief from the afternoon sun.

In a "dry creek" one can dig/scrape out a depression in a naturally deep spot to get water for the bees later into the summer.

Technology Netbook Table Electronic device Laptop

ok tried a crude draw and pic of the spot I am try to relate.

have fun
GG
 

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I had also read concerns about hives getting too hot and combs becoming fragile. These are deep frames, so I'll just have to go slow and be gentle - pretty much a prerequisite anyway. :)
If you use plastic foundation in the supers and limit intrusions into the brood area, particularly during July through mid September, you shouldn't have a problem.
 

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John:

As someone located about 75 miles mainly East and a little South of you, my personal experience has been that colonies around here have done best with their entrances facing East or Southeast, in a location that gets morning sun and afternoon shade (think the edge of a woodlot) and near water always helps.

Many advocate full sun for help against small hive beetles, but I personally have not observed a marked difference in SHB prevalence in partial versus full sun applications.

It is smart of you to be thinking now about where you are going to site your bees- you'll also want to consider access prospects to the colonies during inclement (mainly muddy) conditions.

Sounds like you are off to a good start- any swarm trap interest yet?

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Grey Goose,

I should have mentioned that North was up on the map, as you, correctly assumed. Do you think the position between #3 & #4 would provide enough protection from the north? I'm actually wanting to stack some rocks across the creek to enhance an existing pool.

Thanks for your thoughts!

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Welllll, Riverderwent,

I've already committed to to wood starter tabs in all my frames. Not going wired, but may put a 1/4" dowel across the middle. Something like this:
Triangle Triangle Brass Font Metal
Image belongs to Horizontal Hive.

I can limit intrusions. <grin>

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Neighbor (Russ),

Between you and Grey Goose, et al, sounds like I'm coming up with a possible location for my hives! The location is a short walk from my house and doesn't get muddy, so I think that part is good.

Funny about bee scouts . . . I have had them bumping about my downstairs garage and my neighbor has seen them around his garage. I keep telling the bees to check out rent-free accommodations. So far, I've not seen any scouts around the traps. I keep walking them daily. <grin>

John
 

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Many advocate full sun for help against small hive beetles, but I personally have not observed a marked difference in SHB prevalence in partial versus full sun applications.
That's right. The usual mantra regarding SHB is "Put your hives in full sun for lower SHB numbers." While that is good advice the reason for it is often incorrect. It is a common misconception that higher temperatures in hives will reduce the number of SHBs.

Soil moisture is the key. SHB larvae pupate faster and have a higher success rate in moist soil versus drier soil. This was explained to me by William Michael Hood (Professor Emeritus at Clemson Univ.) at EAS last year. In 1996 he was the first entomologist in the US to observe SHBs; a beekeeper in Charleston, SC brought samples of strange beetles he found in his hives. They were unable to identify this new beetle beyond genus. A couple of years later scientists in Florida identified SHBs that were found there. Hood compared the Florida beetles to the samples he had looked at and they were the same. Since then Hood has devoted much of his career to researching SHBs.

Quoting from Hood's pamphlet 'Handbook of Small Hive Beetle IPM', "Another cultural technique recommended for beetle control is the placement of colonies in full sun to create drier soil conditions to help prevent successful beetle pupation in the ground. Beetles need moist soil to pupate and the placement of colonies in a shady, damp location is not recommended. This recommendation runs counter to what most beekeepers were taught in the past: to place colonies in locations that offer early morning sun and afternoon shade, particularly in the hot summer months. Beekeepers should also be careful in placement of their colonies in or near irrigated crops which are often grown in damp soil conditions."

Hood also has a book on SHBs but I cannot lay my hands on my copy at the moment.
 

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I keep walking them daily. <grin>
I think swarm trapping may be one of the most addicting pastimes one can engage in- wait until you catch one... then you'll really be hooked!

Assuming your normal swarm season is similar to mine I'd suggest we're on the front-edge of prime swarms- I've had two small swarms emanate from overwintered colonies here in my yard thus far but not too much intense swarm scout action yet.

Good luck!
 

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I think swarm trapping may be one of the most addicting pastimes one can engage in- wait until you catch one... then you'll really be hooked!
I still get excited when a swarm moves in, and I don't even want more bees. Showing off pictures of one's latest swarm capture is like showing off photos of the grandkids.
 

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Hey Grey Goose,

I should have mentioned that North was up on the map, as you, correctly assumed. Do you think the position between #3 & #4 would provide enough protection from the north? I'm actually wanting to stack some rocks across the creek to enhance an existing pool.

Thanks for your thoughts!

John
It Depends.... Is the north wind strong there? Is there a lot of open space to the north?
If you face the hive east and a little south, the the north wind is at the side, and back corner.
If the winter winds are a concern a short chunk of snow fence or a few bales of hay or some temp wind break could help.
it is good to consider all these things, Wander around the lot a bit , if you pick the best spot then that is all you can do.

If it is not a Eye sore a small 2 sided lean too (north wall west wall roof) 4foot x 6foot makes a good wind stopper and rain sleet snow deterrent.
Lots of hives are just out in a field.

rock stack is a good idea, if you are lazy like me a log, 4-6 inch staked in (3/8 re rod) , cross way to the water flow, for the water to flow over will wash out a hole on its own.
Likely the creek has some spots, the bees will go a 1/2 mile in each direction, so a hole may already exist.

have fun
GG
 

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I've had SHB issues with hives in full to partial sunny area in the past. Got some old shingles and laid down a pad underneath the hive stands a few years ago. Haven't had much SHB since and it keeps the weeds down around the hives which also keeps ticks off me and I don't have to worry about mowing right up to the hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@Hobo - bunch of good information there. I had been trying to figure out some kind of 'mat' to put beneath my hive, primarily thinking of grass mowing around it. I have two ideas, one is a mat of overlapping shingles (thanks Podunk!), which I'm sure would work well. The other is the 'pan' from a 'caged' IBC Tote. Here's a tote:
Product Transport Plastic Machine Storage tank

This makes the top of the pallet, underneath the tote. I'm thinking I might be able to position the hive on it and give myself room to work from behind.
Table Furniture Grass

@Litsinger - thanks! I'm looking forward to it. I have two swarm traps out on my six acres and I'm thinking about putting one on my son's 13 acres, about 17 miles north of me. Getting him to check it anything like regularly might be a challenge . . .

@Grey Goose - We CAN get some stout north winds, however, there is a line of trees on the north edge of my property, scattered trees on my neighbor to the north and a line of small trees on his north edge. We can get some mean winds blowing around the house, which is uphill a little bit and not as protected.

I'm thinking on the south side of that #4 Pine might be good. Two trees to the north, pines NNW and NW, a pine directly west. Walked around down there and there's a nice void on the south side of that pine, that would give me working space at my back.

I had actually tried bags of cement with a piece of rebar driven through the bag and into the creek bed. They are scattered down the creek, some with rebar still stuck through them. I'm liking your log idea . . . may try cutting a couple of pieces of T-post/fence post in half and drive those through a log in a couple of spots.

It has had pools enough that there are little Blue Gill living there. Hard drought, and those spots get pretty dry. But as mentioned previously, I could probably dig down in a low spot and find water. My neighbor to the north has a ~1.5 acre pond and on the other side of our little valley, to the west, are three ponds within a 1/4 mile. Lots of water. Plus my pool and my neighbor to the south has a pool . . . Bees? Those aren't MY bees!

@Podunk - thanks for that thought. My son and I built a 10x12 shed on his property and I think there were shingles leftover from roofing. I'm going to have to get him to check.

Thanks to all for reading and helping out. Come onnnnnn, bees! Might see about getting my name on the MO State Beekeepers Assoc. website for swarms . . .

John
 
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