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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to decide where to put my hives. We live in the country so neighbours aren't an issue. I live in SW Arkansas and the sun can be ferocious in July and August so I thought perhaps to put in an area that gets shade in late afternoon. Do mowers bother bees? How do you mow around your hives? I thought if the mowers were a problem, I could put the hives on the west side of our cow pasture, facing east and put a small fence around the hives so cows can't rub up against them. There is a treeline along the west side that would provide late afternoon shade.
If mowers are not a problem, I can put them fairly near the house and my garden perhaps. I know not to put them in dips or areas that collect water.
 

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You're in an area where small hive beetles thrive. Hives in full sun have fewer beetles. The bees can live with the heat much better than they can tolerate multitudes of small hive beetles. You can ventilate by propping the outer cover open and using screened bottom boards and be sure they have a water supply nearby. Use a weedeater near the hives and a mower a little further away. The bees will let you know if you need a veil.
 

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From my experience I find that a shaded area is best, and I have faced all my hives west , when they are leaving the hive in the morning the sun is not blinding them, and in the evening they again are not blinde by the sun,
and they do stay out longer than usual. I had them facing south and east years ago and they do much better facing west. At least 40% more honey yeald. Good luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am surprised at the west-facing positioning suggestion, but will look into it. I always heard the east or southeast was best. As far as hive beetles go, I am going to use a screened bottom board for IPM control fo varroa mites. The hive beetle traps I've seen are a variation of the bottom board too so obviously can't use both at once. Is there another form of beetle trap that is good?
 

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Off the top of my head I can think of 5 or 6 types of traps for inside the hive.There are a few that are bottom board types. The best solution to the hive beetle problem is to keep strong hives in full sun. You'll have beetles but they won't reach numbers that will threaten the hive. If you open up a hive and see so many beetles that you can't count them as they scurry away you have a problem. If you open the hive and see a dozen or so beetles and manage to kill some of them with your hive tool you have no need to be concerned because the bees are keeping them under control.
 

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Experiment. Put hives in full sun and others with evening shade and observe the results. You may find partial shade workable in your neck of the woods.
 
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