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I don't think they care much about the sound and vibrations of the trucks, if that's what you're worried about. There's a thriving feral hive in an oak tree limb directly in the middle of our local building supply yard, which is full of big trucks all day long.
 

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Focus: Location, direction, stands, for hives. Things to consider when choosing an apiary site.
I usually put 30 - 50 hives in a site. What I look for is property with 5 acers or more, accessabilty with my truck that has a knack of getting stuck in even a pot hole, and southern exposure with north protection. I stay away from property with live stock (cows, horses, ect.).

I place the colonies on wooden pallets and face them south to west depending on location and convenience.

consider if bears or other predators are a problem, take the right measures. If vandalization will be a problem then don't even keep bees there (I wish we could shoot vandals). keep hives out of areas with a history of flooding. keep the grass in the yard mowed and away from the entrance of the hives. keep the yard clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
It's obvious that you are coming at this as one who runs a business in beekeeping. Some of your points should be concerns for the beginner as well. Another point to be aware of are swimming pools. I went to go look at a possible property for placing hives and noticed the neighbor had a swimming pool. Even though the forage area was great, I declined to use the yard due to the pool in the area. Bees and pool owners don't usually go well together.
 

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Barry, any idea what the connection is between Bees and Pools? Is there an attraction to the clorine?

I have a stream that has water in it all season long and some of the girls will prefer to fly 1/4 -1/2 mile to the nearest pool. Thankfully the owner loves bees and rescues the ones she finds floating out there.
 

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It's obvious that you are coming at this as one who runs a business in beekeeping. Some of your points should be concerns for the beginner as well. Another point to be aware of are swimming pools. I went to go look at a possible property for placing hives and noticed the neighbor had a swimming pool. Even though the forage area was great, I declined to use the yard due to the pool in the area. Bees and pools don't usually go well together.
But that which is good for 30 - 50 hives is good for a few hives too and vice versa. I was a beginner once myself.

About swimming pools, the complaints from the owners of the pool would bee the only problem, the few bees one would lose is nothing to worry about and the chlorine content is not a problem either as is so diluted. bees will prefer pool water for the same reason they prefer the run off of manure pile or salt licks, they, like all living creatures need electrolytes.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
But that which is good for 30 - 50 hives is good for a few hives too and vice versa. I was a beginner once myself.
I'll have to disagree. The purpose for the forum is "getting started". The needs and concerns for one just starting out are quite different in some areas than one like yourself who may be running quite a bit more. A beginner will more than likely be keeping their hives in their backyard, unlike those that have more than 10 hives. That in itself brings up unique issues.
 

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But we are talking about conditions not number of hives and a back yard will usually meet those conditions. On the other hand, if that back yard is in a resadential area, it might not be ideal either, one hive is enough to disgruntle neighbors.
 

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Everything depends on the strain you have in that sort of situation. I'm extremely fussy about good temper since I'm on an allotment site with neighbours. If I get a hive which stings at all when I stand immediately in front of it, or makes any effort to sting during inspections (I don't count stings on my hands) then I requeen it. If you face hives into a hedge or solid fence so the bees have to fly up above head height as soon as they come out of the hive that makes a big difference.
 

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Re: c) Hive placement

I'm in agreement with others on several points. I look for an area with plenty of sunlight, especially early morning. I like sun on their doorstep to warm them up and get them working. I've heard time and again how full sun reduces a variety of problems including mite load and hive beetles. I've no evidence to prove otherwise. I generally point the hives South, East, and West in clusters to reduce drifting. I don't mind evening shade, especially in the heat of summer. Truck accessibility is a must. I like to keep the hives on a level section of ground, preferably out of sight from roads. I'm paranoid of vandalism, and wouldn't appreciate it at all. I do pay attention to forage, but a lot of times it can be over thought. Bees have a large forage area, and are experts at finding food. Protection from strong winds is definitely a plus.
 

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Re: c) Hive placement

I am just now starting my 2nd year as a beekeeper. I live on a dead end county road with out much traffic. The property line fence follows the road and there was a large dogwood in that fence line. I placed my hives there where they get shade from 1:00 PM till dark. The hive entrances are faceing the east. The location is over the spine of the ridge line, so they are protected from the west wind. I have also let some sappling and undergrowth grow up in the fence line to give them some extra protection from storms and wind, if need be.
 

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Re: c) Hive placement

I live in a windy area, with the farm being worse yet! They are building wind turbine towers all around us. Right now, the best spot has been on the east side of the garage, but as the number of hives grow, I'm looking for another solution. We are on a hill at the farm and get wind from any direction in the winter. I am considering putting a privacy fence to the west in a u shape, with another stretch to the east for those easterly days.

How far from the hives would you place the fences?
 

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Re: c) Hive placement

Leave at least 4-6 ft so that you can work on them from the back. Face the front entrances of the hives to East-South direction.
 

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Re: c) Hive placement

I am just now starting my 2nd year as a beekeeper. I live on a dead end county road with out much traffic. The property line fence follows the road and there was a large dogwood in that fence line. I placed my hives there where they get shade from 1:00 PM till dark. The hive entrances are faceing the east. The location is over the spine of the ridge line, so they are protected from the west wind. I have also let some sappling and undergrowth grow up in the fence line to give them some extra protection from storms and wind, if need be.
Sounds perfect. I too keep mine in fence rows, but they have full sun from dawn to dusk and have had more production out of these hives than the hives I have placed in shaded areas...... Don't know why that is.....

Phil
 

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Re: c) Hive placement

How far from people must you place a beehive? Also, can you mow around bee hives without causing a problem?
 

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Re: c) Hive placement

I've had bees right by my back door that people walked right by that were never a problem. I've had bees that were 150 yards from the house and that was way too close. Both were Buckfasts from different times.
 

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Re: c) Hive placement

Wow, so it is a real variable that is hard to quantify. My hives will be located in a meadow, approximately 50 - 75 feet from the edge of my yard, and about 150 - 200' from the rear of my house. Would it help if I face the entrances away from the yard and the house?
 

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Re: c) Hive placement

It always helps to face the hive away from any path that would bring people close. I would put them 50 feet from my back door and not think anything of it, but if they were every being hot, I would requeen immediately.
 
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