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Ok, you've more than answered my hive body assembly question. Now I was wondering about some experienced bee-ers comments on locating a hive. We're going to have two hives, I plan to put them on raised stands (not on the ground). and on our 5 acre plot I've picked a spot seemingly the best for human access, non-obstructed bee approach, windbreak, and neighborly concerns, etc. But to be sure I'm not going to reinact some Killer-Bee movie, my questions are: how far would you situate your hives from your own home? How far from a kids swingset? In our neighborhood they are really hung up about keeping the grass mowed down...how do bees do with a riding mower around them? how close would you get in trimming grass with mower or weedeater? I'm also wondering about water sources. We're 1/2 mile from the Shenandoah river, and a couple of large apple orchards. Should I put some kind of nearer water supply for the bees? Recommendations?

Thanks again!

Dave
 

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I am starting 5 packages on my picnic table on my back porch. About 5 feet from the back door.

I can mow around my hives as long as I start quite a ways back and move in slow. This lets them get used to the noise and vibration. I have even done this with the weed-eater. Just make sure to do it on a sunny day when the girls are too busy gathering nectar to care.

>>We're 1/2 mile from the Shenandoah river, and a couple of large apple orchards.

I would be concerned about the orchard and spraying insecticides.

>>Should I put some kind of nearer water supply for the bees?

A bird bath somwhere in the yard might be a water source to consider. Or a small childs pool from Walmart for $5. Make sure to put something inside that they can land on and not drown. (Kids too for that matter)
Maybe the bird bath is the better idea?
 

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> how far would you situate your hives from your own home?

I have had them next to the back door and I have had them thirty to fifty foot from the back door. I like the fifty foot distance better, and that is not far enough IF they turn mean. Turn them away from the house for a clear LZ and runway.

>How far from a kids swingset?

I think the same. Educate the kids to leave them alone and stay out of the line of flite.

>In our neighborhood they are really hung up about keeping the grass mowed down...how do bees do with a riding mower around them? how close would you get in trimming grass with mower or weedeater?

As long as you don't throw grass clippings on them or puff you exhaust twards them you will be ok. I like to wear a bugg baffler when I mow and trim, it's lite and stylish and goes with my shorts.

>I'm also wondering about water sources. We're 1/2 mile from the Shenandoah river, and a couple of large apple orchards. Should I put some kind of nearer water supply for the bees?

You should supply them with a source of water, don't forget to add a float for them to land on.

>Recommendations?

I would also put a barrier between the hives and any close neighbors. Out of sight, out of mind.
 

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I've had them five feet from my back door without problems, but I've also had hives (that fortunately were further away) turn mean and I was glad they weren't five feet from my back door.
Bee defensiveness is like light. It falls off to half everytime you double the distance.

The main purpose for water is to keep them from harrasing the neighbors. The bees are capable of finding water on their own in most locations, but it's not a nice thing when it turns out to be the neighbors kiddie pool or bird bath.
 
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