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Ok, my bees will be delivered in less than an hour. While I was out walking around my back yard looking around I realized where I want to put them will not have direct sunlight until mid morning and will lose direct sunlight by mid afternoon because of the orientation of our house. My "perfect" location went to a "mediocre" spot.

I can put them on the north side of the house but the yard is very narrow there, so the hive will be about 24" away from the side of my house.

Which is my better option - long exposure to sunlight but close to the house (and exposed to neighbors view) or less direct sunlight?
 

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I don't think there is any issue with having your hives close to your house will cause any problem, and if it is sunny there that is a bonus. However, you have to weigh that against what the neighbor's reaction may be. If that location is going to rile up the neighbors, I'd try to choose a location less likely to upset them.

If 'next to' your house is simply that the hives would be visible to the neighbors, but not 'close' to them, for now put the hives in the less sunny spot you originally had in mind. Then build a fence or other visual barrier and move the bees where you want them after you get the fence built.
 

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Be mindful of bee poop when choosing your location. It is real. I did not give it much thought because I was focused on neighbors, water, sunlight, etc. like all the good books tell you. I have my hives in a modest sized backyard and am learning the hard way just how much poop is along that flight path to the hive entrance. They can redecorate your backyard furniture and deck in no time.
 

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First thing to consider is the implications of the neighbors. It is no fun getting contacted by a city employee or the department of agriculture because someone complained about your bees being a problem. Ideally it is better to keep the hives where they will have more sunlight, but I have had hives do just fine where they are in the shade half the day.
 
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