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Discussion Starter #1
True newbee here. We are getting ready to put the boxes out soon. The area I have planned for them is fairly narrow and is bordered by fence. Putting them near the fence is deliberate. I want them to fly up and over. But because it is narrow there, (maybe 5 feet wide), I want to have as much room myself as I can.

So my question is, how close to the fence can they reasonably be? Do they need 6", 10", 18" off the fence? More? Less?

Thanks for the help, guys!
 

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I would think you could put them right up against the fence, if the front boards are facing away from the fence. You could have them 3 or 4 feet away from the fence for getting behind the hive if you wanted to. I would think 4 to 6 feet away from the fence if they are facing the fence, But I don't think the bees will care too much really, they'll find their way in and out of the hive wherever you put it. Try to put it so it is the least amount of traffic interference with humans and our other pets.
 

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Both my apiary of full-size hives, mostly for honey production and my apiary of nucs, for queen and nuc production, are enclosed in walls of tan shade cloth, to reduce their visibility and encourage them to fly high. All have their entrances within two or three inches of the shade cloth wall. Strong winds can move the shade cloth, but it has never caused any obvious problems (their was one hive where the shade cloth pushed its cover over, leaving an opening - a small block fixed that problem).
 

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I take it would be a wooden fence. About how tall ?

My fences are 6' tall and are positioned on a slight angle towards the hives and surrounded in winter. See my web page for details. The angle is to help prevent wind damming (a swirling motion of air heading downward) after it clears the fence. I wish to deflect it over the hives and it seems to work good in strong winds from almost any direction. The hives themselves are about 2-3' away from any fence. This creates a calm wind environment for when the temps are above 45 degrees and it's gusty out. They seem to stay within the 12' encapsulated area given.

In the late Spring time after the winds die down, I'll unscrew the fencing off of the posts and store them off to the side so they get morning sun.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Let me see if I can describe this a bit better.

Yes, Swede, wooden privacy fence. It is 5'. On the immediate other side of it is a small paved area, like a sidewalk, that is about three feet wide. That pavement runs parallel to the neighbors house, and fully encompasses the space between the fence and their home. If my arms were a bit longer I could touch their house from my side of the fence. Total distance from the fence to their home is probably 3.5 feet. They have a low sloping roof that is probably only 7 feet at it's lowest point.

So the layout is my garage...5 ft....fence...3 ft...neighbors house. They are never on this side of the house ever. There is no reason to be. No grass to cut. Nothing to see. So I think it will be a good place to put the bees because it will really encourage them to go up and over.

However! I have exceptionally limited space. I cannot put the boxes 3 feet from the fence and still have room to move around them. So what I'm trying to determine is whether or not I can put them, with the hive entrances facing the fence, within say 12 inches or less of the fence. That would accommodate the depth of the boxes and the depth of me toting things and moving around behind them. - It seems from what Joseph says that is a possibility.

This is otherwise the ideal spot. There is dappled sun all day, ready water, and they are completely protected from yard traffic, dogs, and general visibility from nosy neighbors. I can't say that about any other place, so I'm hoping I can move them close. There are other places they could go if necessary, but none as well suited otherwise.

Thoughts? And thanks, as always, for the help!
 

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"...the hive entrances facing the fence, within say 12 inches or less of the fence..." that will be fine. good luck,mike
 

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Personally I'd keep the hive entrance facing away from the fence in one of the other 3 directions, preferably South. Reason for this is so you can peek into the entrance occasionally without moving the hives and it's easier to see potential issues without opening up.

Dappled sun, eh ? I guess you'd just have to make due with facing them as South as possible.

Above all, make sure you're in good standings with your neighbors.
 
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