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Finally took the plunge into beekeeping today. Trying to space out the financial outlays leading up to May. Visited my "local store" - 40 minutes away. Came home with a suit, gloves, smoker, hive tool, brush, and two bases. I'm a veterinarian and want to get into bee medicine. I'm signed up for beekeeping classes starting in a couple of weeks. Right now I'm trying to figure out where I want to put the hives. I'm starting with two nucs. I have 20 acres, most of which is covered in pine trees. I'm told sunny areas are desirable, but other than the yard for the house, I don't have very many of them. How close to a vegetable garden is too close? I use an old Massey Ferguson tractor do work my gardens and don't want to disturb the bees.
 

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Finally took the plunge into beekeeping today. Trying to space out the financial outlays leading up to May. Visited my "local store" - 40 minutes away. Came home with a suit, gloves, smoker, hive tool, brush, and two bases. I'm a veterinarian and want to get into bee medicine. I'm signed up for beekeeping classes starting in a couple of weeks. Right now I'm trying to figure out where I want to put the hives. I'm starting with two nucs. I have 20 acres, most of which is covered in pine trees. I'm told sunny areas are desirable, but other than the yard for the house, I don't have very many of them. How close to a vegetable garden is too close? I use an old Massey Ferguson tractor do work my gardens and don't want to disturb the bees.
welcome here.
 

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Welcome to beekeeping and the forum. A sunny location is ideal, but you can compromise and locate them on the edge of your yard. What you need to be concerned about is their flight path, so orient their entrances in the direction you want them to exit. Right out of the hive, they fly low, but increase in altitude as they go. They will often fly in a circle out of the hive to gain altitude and then fly in their chosen direction. They have remarkable ability to avoid objects even though they are not graceful fliers. You will probably be ok on your tractor if not too close to the hive. To get them at altitude in a short distance, a solid fence 8' from the entrances will do the trick.
Welcome again. I am sure all the beekeepers in your area will welcome a veterinarian with open arms. J
 

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Welcome to the addiction.

A spot with morning sun and late day shade is usually best. This seems to get the bees working earlier without the burden of late day heat, in the summer. If that same spot can get good winter sun as well, that will only benefit them, considering your climate.

And how far away they should be really depends on the bees. I have many hives right next to my patio, bbq grill, and hot tub without any issue. However, if you get overly defensive bees then you'll want them as far away as possible. A good quiet area is usually best - but I doubt they'd bother you on a tractor or other equipment - again, based on temperament.
 

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Welcome.

Expect losses!

Don't get discouraged!
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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Welcome
kindly add your location to your Avatar/Profile, to get more optimized advice.
As A brand new keeper, you some what have the options of Package or NUC, to start, did you decide yet? tip normally NUCs need be pickup up not shipped. Another good choice is to find a local keeper and offer time in exchange for a split. get you some hands on time and maybe a bee buddy and some bees, him help for a day or 2 adding supers or something.

there will always be 2 or 3 ways to do something, try not to assume one advisor is wrong, better if they are all determined to be shades of correct. :)

at first it is like drinking from a hose, just do not give up.

GG
 

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Agreed. Your location is very helpful for future posts.

Looks like you're near Linden, North Carolina for future posters.
 

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Sounds like you are in good shape, and are covering a lot of the things recommended to new beekeepers (taking a class, starting with 2 hives, getting equipment)

One other thing to consider is that bees have a tendency to not work stuff right in front of your hives. You may want to place the hives a few dozen feet from your garden instead of right next to it if you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sounds like you are in good shape, and are covering a lot of the things recommended to new beekeepers (taking a class, starting with 2 hives, getting equipment)

One other thing to consider is that bees have a tendency to not work stuff right in front of your hives. You may want to place the hives a few dozen feet from your garden instead of right next to it if you can.
I have a number of places I can put them. Trying to figure out the best. One option was the west side of the detached garage. Rarely has any traffic, however, it has grass and my propane tank. I don't want to cause problems with mowing or for the guys when they come fill the tank. I'm looking at locations in the cleared areas. One of the things mentioned to me at the bee shop was controlling small hive beetles by raking the ground under the hives. Apparently disrupting the soil interrupts the lifecycle. Need to research that. Easier to rake bare sand than grass - and I've paid a lot to get that grass to grow. My plan is to take some pictures of the various locations along with overhead imagery to the classes and get some insight from them.
 

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Mapping areas for sunlight is something I do all day with my job. This skill has come in very handy for placing bees. Really try to think about sunlight for the whole year and not that specific day.

There is a great mobile app called Sun Surveyor. It allows you to see in real time, with use of your mobile camera, where the sun will be given your location. You can also change the date to the summer and winter solstice as you walk around your property staring at your phone.

Well worth it!
 

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I have a number of places I can put them. Trying to figure out the best. One option was the west side of the detached garage. Rarely has any traffic, however, it has grass and my propane tank. I don't want to cause problems with mowing or for the guys when they come fill the tank. I'm looking at locations in the cleared areas. One of the things mentioned to me at the bee shop was controlling small hive beetles by raking the ground under the hives. Apparently disrupting the soil interrupts the lifecycle. Need to research that. Easier to rake bare sand than grass - and I've paid a lot to get that grass to grow. My plan is to take some pictures of the various locations along with overhead imagery to the classes and get some insight from them.
you mentioned 20 acres.
I would....
go 50 yards off your lawn, when you work the bees they can be touchy for a few hours, when queenless same deal. Ideally a "wagon, wheelbarrow ,or ATV trail" would allow taking the gear out there and back.
SE facing,, small opening in the bush, with shade for the afternoon sun.
As far as SHB a non penetratingly surface helps, if you happen to have a wide old conveyer bely, to lay down, old piece of tin, or you can put in a patch of concrete it would help. not necessary. the adult SHB go into the soil under the hive to reproduce, the young then crawl up the hive stand back into the hive. If you have bears in your locale then add in bear fence to your thought process.
do you have a google earth, or Ariel Pic?
or better yet, bribe an experienced beekeeper to maybe do a walkabout and point to some "choice" sites.

consider expansion, like then the next 2 go here, some folks get hooked hard on bees and get more, :)

with 20 acres next to the garage would maybe have issues at some point.
end of the day it is your choice.

GG
 

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Piggybacking on this post, how far away from a traveled walking path would you recommend hives be? Is 30-40' enough if you aim them away? Or is that a danger distance if they are cranky?
 

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Piggybacking on this post, how far away from a traveled walking path would you recommend hives be? Is 30-40' enough if you aim them away? Or is that a danger distance if they are cranky?
Should be entirely fine. I have the path out to our chicken coop right behind a row of 8 hives and never have a problem. Those same hives are 20 feet from the garden, right in front of their flight path.

But of course that depends on your bees. If you get a hot hive you could be a 1/4 mile away and still get stung. With gentle stock you could have them nearly any distance. As long as you have a good amount of space in the front of their hives, as to not interrupt their flight path.
 

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On the west side of a garage or shop building means no morning sun. Morning sun is a very good thing for beehives. Full sun is great, afternoon shade is OK, but morning shade I myself would try to avoid.
 

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Piggybacking on this post, how far away from a traveled walking path would you recommend hives be? Is 30-40' enough if you aim them away? Or is that a danger distance if they are cranky?
depends
on what way they face, if walking behind the hive 4 feet is ok if walking past the front the issue is you are in the flyway (think runway for planes) they come thru there many times now this trip someone is standing there. so front your 30 - 40 feet is a good start.

GG
 

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depends
on what way they face, if walking behind the hive 4 feet is ok if walking past the front the issue is you are in the flyway (think runway for planes) they come thru there many times now this trip someone is standing there. so front your 30 - 40 feet is a good start.

GG
I'll be fine then. We'll be walking the dogs 30-40' West of the hives, which will be facing East South East.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, it looks like I won't have any bees for 3 years. Army is moving me out to KY and the family is staying behind. More time to learn, I guess.
 
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