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Hive Placement?

868 Views 18 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Gray Goose
I'm sure this has been asked many times over, but I was hoping for advice regarding the placement of 2 hives on our 1.5 acre property. I have added a photo of the general layout, so let me explain. We are located in Stockbridge in 8A planting zone.

Our property runs east/west, with the house (blue square) facing the east and the majority of our property being behind that. Our property used to be a cattle pasture many years ago, so we only have a few trees. The main one is a sawtooth oak that is right beside our main raised and in ground growing area. Other trees are fruit saplings and a large pecan tree at the far northwest of our property (not pictured but would be to the top right of the picture). Apart from that, there are 2 sheds (grey squares) on either side of our fenced area.

My two ideas for placement of the hives:

1) Under the sawtooth oak facing South aka towards the gardening area. The hives would get morning and evening sun, but not the hottest part of the day. It is towards the middle of our property, so less chance of the neighbors with their z-turns disturbing the bees. It is closer to where we will be tending the garden, and closer to the sheds where beekeeping supplies will be kept, but also closer to where our dogs like to play and hangout with us. However, there is a slight dip in the property that runs from the base of that tree to the north and off the property. That being said, that dip does tend to get damp quicker than other areas when it rains, and takes longer to dry. The hives under the sawtooth oak would put them about 30ft or so from our burn pit, which is mostly in the middle of the field.

2) Towards the back of the property in the middle of the field facing East aka towards the house. The bees would get full sun until evening when the trees on the neighboring properties begin to cast shadow. The bees would be away from where we will be working, as well as from where our dogs like to play. They would be closer to the property line, so closer to where neighbors will be mowing with their z-turns. However, since it gets full sun and there is no dip here, the ground stays fairly dry year-round. Since the hives would be facing the house, it would put the bee flight path facing our burn pit (not pictured, but about 30ft ish west or up in the photo from the in-ground and raised planting area). We don't do bonfires that often, but we do sometimes.

If anyone has any suggestions on these two ideas, or come up with other ones, I would love to hear them!



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· Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
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As with all things beekeeping, it depends on your climate.

Where I am I like to put them East of a deciduous tree. This gives them late day shade during the hot summers and when it loses its leaves, has full sun all winter.

However, I know this isn't always possible. Most people prefer to aim them East to South with as much sun as you can give them. Facing East gives them morning sun as it's said to get them to work earlier. Bees need to keep their brood area round 94 degrees so having the sun help you allows more bees to leave the nest and get to work, rather then stay home and keep things warm.

But I've had swarm traps work facing North in the shade. Do your best and that should be good enough!
 

· Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
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Mine also sit 15 feet from my patio, bbq grill, and hot tub. But I've been raising my own queens from gentle stock for many, many years.

If you're getting attacked around your own yard I would certainly requeen. I have no tolerance for it, others may.
 

· Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
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I wouldn't play my bees in the middle of my field. I like to keep them off to the side where there are wind breaks.

Being in GA you may want to go with the standard of "morning sun with evening shade". Too much heat causes hives to burn resources in keeping it cool, just like they would when it's too cold, so having morning sun and afternoon shade usually gives you the best of both worlds.

But as Charles Prestridge stated, there are far more important things to be researching such as your varroa treatments and keeping pests away.
 

· Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
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1,641 Posts
OAV is short for Oxalic Acid Vapor. This is when the acid is heated and sublimates into the hive. It then cools into crystals and it's these crystals that kill the mites.

Other methods like Oxalic Acid Dribble are also common. With a little research you can figure out which one is best for you.

I prefer OAV as it's easy, fast, and once you buy the vaporizer, it's cheap.
 
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