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Which spot should I use?

  • Spot 1: with the sprinklers

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Spot 2: with early shade

    Votes: 9 100.0%
  • Spot 3: with wind and cold in the winter

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just realized that the spot I had picked for my hive will be hit by a newly installed sprinkler system and so need to think about choosing a new spot. (My packages arrive in about a week.)

Here's the situation:
I am keeping my hives at my family beach house in Long Island, so I am not able to ask my mother to change her sprinkler system. The house is located on what is basically a sandbar on the ocean. It has a large yard with grass, garden, sprinklers, etc on the street side. It is on the beach with a large dune area on the beach side. I have three locations in mind, but they all have a major negative. What I need help with is deciding between the trade-offs. In other words, which is worse, lack of sun, sprinklers or too much wind?

Spot 1: Best sun, some dappled shade that varies depending on the location of the sun, but pretty overall sunny. Not windy. Located near some bushes. Negative: Sprinkler system will spray the hive daily all summer at about 7am.
Spot 2: Side of house. Full sun in the morning, but falls into shade pretty quickly after noon. No wind, no sprinklers, not much to disturb them.
Spot 3: In the dune, close to the beach: I'm pretty sure I can find a good spot sun-wise, but the beach side will be brutal in the winter time. It is significantly windier on the beach side of the house. Also, several pools will be in their path towards water and this location may encourage pool drinking.

So, what do you guys think is the lesser evil? Sprinklers? Wind? or Shade?
 

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What is the problem with a sprinkler operating near the hive? Unless the water from the sprinkler is being sprayed into the hive, its really no different than rain.
 

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What is the problem with a sprinkler operating near the hive? Unless the water from the sprinkler is being sprayed into the hive, its really no different than rain.
My thoughts too. I installed a hive for a client in their backyard with underground sprinkler system last year. Its not a problem. Typically watering is done just before dawn or sometime near sunrise, so none or not many bees are flying.

If the jet from the sprinkler nozzle hits directly on the entrance. I would erect somekind of simple screen or board a foot or two in front of the hives.
 

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>> Typically watering is done just before dawn or sometime near sunrise, so none or not many bees are flying.


A good point. There are benefits to setting the sprinkler controller to end irrigation before sunrise. More on that from Clemson University:

The best time of day to begin irrigation is after nightfall. The irrigation cycle should end early enough before sunrise to allow excess water to soak into the landscape so that the leaves will dry in the normal time period. Night-time temperatures and wind speeds are much lower, which means lower evaporative losses during irrigation. Night-time humidity is higher, which also reduces evaporation. There is no sun, so solar radiation does not contribute to water evaporation. Estimates of water loss during night-time irrigation are approximately 15%, once again depending on humidity, wind speed, and temperature. The resident who applied 1 inch of water receives the benefit from 0.85 inches.

More here:
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/other/irrigation/hgic1804.html
 

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I have one hive that has shade from about noon-on each day. So far it is on year two and going strong. They did seem to have more hive beetles than the other hives but the bees are keeping them in check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, everyone for the responses, but I feel like I am getting mixed messages here. The comments seems to say that the sprinklers might not be a problem, but the poll results say to go with the shady spot. I would love to keep them near the sprinklers as I think that is the best spot for the neighbors. I'll have to see how hard and at what angle the water will hit, I guess. I know I can orient the opening away from the sprinklers, but am not sure if the water will hit the side or the top of the hives. If is is the top, I guess no big deal, right? The water should be going early in the morning, so the girls should not be flying around.

I'm just not sure the hive is water-tight enough for a direct hit to the side. Maybe they just need an umbrella. :)
 

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If I were you, I wouldn't want a sprinkler to spray the hive every morning. Spot 2 is my choice. Full sun in the morning gives the bees an early start and then it is shady during the heat of the day.
 

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Choose the spot that offers the best conditions without regard to the sprinkler. If you don't want the sprinkler water to hit the sides of the hives, stack up 2-3 hay/straw bales to block the spray. If the bales are at risk of blowing over, drive a couple of Tee posts through the bales into the ground.
 

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Spot 2 sound best of the three options to me. But I do have a question about the amount of forage for your description of the environment. Will they have anything to feed on?
 
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