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Discussion Starter #1
So, First questions inbound:

1) How much room do I need for keeping 2 hives?? I have a small backyard, and would need to keep my hives on one end (I have about 12' by 12' area that I could try and use in the eastern corner of my backyard). It is shaded in the early morning, and gets full sun for most of the day.

2) the rest of our backyard is taken up by a swimming pool and a Falconry Mews. How much trouble would having 2 beehives 6-10 feet away from the swimming pool be?? We enjoy using our pool every summer, and don't really want to impact that with kamikaze bees. The pool sits in the middle of the backyard.

Thanks for your help, and I look forward to sharing the information with my parents.

Mephi

PS–which books do you recommend for my apiculture library??
 

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So, First questions inbound:

1) How much room do I need for keeping 2 hives?? I have a small backyard, and would need to keep my hives on one end (I have about 12' by 12' area that I could try and use in the eastern corner of my backyard). It is shaded in the early morning, and gets full sun for most of the day.

2) the rest of our backyard is taken up by a swimming pool and a Falconry Mews. How much trouble would having 2 beehives 6-10 feet away from the swimming pool be?? We enjoy using our pool every summer, and don't really want to impact that with kamikaze bees. The pool sits in the middle of the backyard.

Thanks for your help, and I look forward to sharing the information with my parents.

Mephi

PS–which books do you recommend for my apiculture library??
That is plenty of room to place the hives. Personally I wouldn't want them 6-10' away from a pool my kids would be using for the summer. That is a personal opinion, again its plenty of room for the hives. Just a question of if you want to take the risk of your kids getting stung or not. Its highly probable they wouldn't but there is always a chance with all of the movement.
 

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Apiculture library needs to have The Hive and The Honeybee by L.L.Langstroth published by Dadant.

The bees will use your pool as a hive water source. I find that if i dip out the bees with skimmer net then after a week they quit using the pool. I think the survivors go back to the hive and warn them all not to use the pool. Good luck
 

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My bee yard is 50+ yards from my swimming pool and 5 feet from the water source I prefer they use. Wanna guess which water source the bees prefer?

My really strong hives get very active during orientation flights. Have you thought about what you'll do during a pool party when the girls decide to stretch their wings? Could get interesting. ;)

I have pretty calm bees but there's been times when I've just been walking near my hives and one of the girls gets a little over-cautious and nails me!

Just some things to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback…

Would it be better to place hives in the open area near green grass on the south-east side of the house, or in a narrow spot on the west side of the house?
 

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Place the bees where it is easiest and most convenient and safe for you and your family. They will live wherever you place them. The southeast side may be better on them, but I bet the west side is not bad for them.
 

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>1) How much room do I need for keeping 2 hives?? I have a small backyard, and would need to keep my hives on one end (I have about 12' by 12' area that I could try and use in the eastern corner of my backyard). It is shaded in the early morning, and gets full sun for most of the day.

You need 8 square feet for two hives. :)

> 2) the rest of our backyard is taken up by a swimming pool and a Falconry Mews. How much trouble would having 2 beehives 6-10 feet away from the swimming pool be?? We enjoy using our pool every summer, and don't really want to impact that with kamikaze bees. The pool sits in the middle of the backyard.

If the hives face the pool you will not like hives 10 feet away... It probably won't be bad if they face the other way... but every hive is different. I've had hives right by my door that never bothered anyone and hives 100 yards from my door that would harass people...

> PS–which books do you recommend for my apiculture library??

I'm fond of my book... but anything by Doolittle, Miller, Smith, Hopkins, Langstroth, Taylor, Huber or Killion.

>Would it be better to place hives in the open area near green grass on the south-east side of the house, or in a narrow spot on the west side of the house?

Worry about what is safe and convenient for you. Especially if your choices are limited.

http://bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#locating
 

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As far as pools:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeswater.htm

To have water more attractive than your pool you need to understand that bees are attracted to water because of several things:
• Smell. They can recruit bees to a source that has odor. Chlorine has odor. So does sewage.
• Warmth. Warm water can be taken on even moderately chilly days. Cold water cannot because when the bees get chilled they can’t fly home.
• Reliability. Bees prefer a reliable source.
• Accessibility. Bees need to be able to get to the water without falling in. A horse tank or bucket with no floats does not work well. A creek bank provides such access as they can land on the bank and walk up to the water. A barrel or bucket does not unless you provide ladders or floats or both. I use a bucket of water full of old sticks. The bees can land on the stick and climb down to the water.
 

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I wouldn't keep the bees that close to the pool. Simply too many opportunities to have issues with collisions with pool guests. A couple of sting incidents, then you (and your bees) are not going to be very popular with the family. Of course, you're going to need to be very diligent on providing an alternate water source with a pool that close. I have a pool and eventually put in a pond close to the bees that keeps them out of the pool. Of course you don't need a pond, but you definitely an attractive and RELIABLE water source. If your source dries up you can pretty much guarantee that your bees are going to be in the pool. Then its a hassle trying to retrain them back to an alternate source. Sounds like careful planning is key in your situation.

How about backing them up to your Falconry Mews? Wouldn't expect the bees to bother the birds.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My brother is concerned that the bees may be attracted to the meat when the bird gets put out in the weathering yard to get sun?
I think it's a little silly, but he's concerned

Besides, the mews is only 3 feet from the fence on both sides :/
 

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you don't' think that would be an issue??
if the hives are only 10' from the pool? yes, I definitlly think at some time or other over the course of the summer an issue will come up. 10' is not very far at all. your better to place those hives off in a corner somewhere as far away from the noise and splashing tht the kids are going to be doing in the pool. Then again I may be an alarmist. the bees i have right now are very passive but they say when fall approaches or during a dearth of nectar...they can get real cranky hot. What about the roof???? anywhere you can place the hives on a roof?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
roof is not an option, but I may try on the side of the house if it becomes a problem

I don't want anyone to get stung, and dont want my brother's bird to get hurt either (not anticipating it, but overly cautious lol)
 

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We had a built in pool in back yard that girls had to fly over top of to get to hives, located in back corner. Every time I walked by pool I had long sticks ready to fish them out. Even though they may look dead, they aren't, even after being in water an hour. Then after drying off and revived would continue on their way.
After awhile I covered the pool with a shade cloth screen. They can use the screen for getting water, and not drowning in the process.
 

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Brand new guy here (so new I don't rate the title "Bee Keeper"), I too, have two hives about 30 ft from my pool. What about putting out chlorinated water specifically for the bees closer to the hives? I have a bird bath and entrance feeders I converted to "watering holes". What if I just chlorinated that water?
 

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If you have only a 12 by 12 foot area, you might want to have a 6 foot tall screen or barrier around it. It makes the bees go up before heading to forage, water, etc.. That way if the neighbors have a nice flower garden or shrubs that attract bees, and the flight line is straight across the pool to the neighbors yard, they will not be zooming across the pool at 2 to 3 feet high. It can freak folks out and might cause extra potential for stings.

I have seen some mighty mean bees in late summer and the hive was calm in spring. Or if you work them on a bad day (heavy overcast, misting rain off and on, been gone, and something in hive needs to be done) they can become Little Ms Jecky/Mean Ms Hyde, real quick. Mine did that just this Monday and followed me through 3 low hanging trees, around a shed, and back 100 feet to my car. Got popped at the car.

If that occurs, and they get mad, you have caged critters that cannot get away. And they are very close to the hive. That should be one of the most important issues with this idea in my mind. And some of those falcons are expensive and the permits hard to get. Just something to think about.
 

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Why chlorinate the water? Bird baths are fine in shade. A large, flat landing rock is good. Bees like cool, 'old' water, mud puddles, and dew off grass. Not chlorinated water.
 
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