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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Long story short, there's this location I'm in the process of setting up. I realized that there's a big pine tree that faces northeast, and pretty much blocks the sun until, I don't know exactly what time - but it's definitely shady in there for a while. I'd say the tree is 50 feet tall, and like 30 feet away from the apiary.

So how important is that early morning sun? From the looks of it, there's a that pine tree blocking the northeast, and then a smaller one blocking the late afternoon sun.

I'd estimate the site would get maybe 8 if I'm being too optimistic.

Thoughts?
 

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That early morning light, and appropriate temperature, gets my hives going in the morning - just like necessary coffee.
 

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It has a huge impact on when they will fly in the winter and in cooler temperatures. It doesn't make that much of a difference when it gets warm out except for the time of day that the orientation flights occur. I have more than one observation hive in my house. The OH with entrance that faces South flies at the same time as my Langstroths during the winter. The OH with entrance facing West doesn't fly until the sun hits it late in the day during the winter. The rest of the year they all fly early in the day except for orientation flights which happen when the sun hits the particular entrance.
 

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BIG.
my home apiary misses out on the first 3 hours of light each day due to being on the north side of the mountain. last year i started branching out and setting up apiaries that get early sun. i cannot keep up with them this spring, they are exploding right now. my home hives i am accustomed to their spring growth and they are lagging with the same management as the out apiaries in the sun.
 

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For several years I’ve kept a hive outside my studio so I can watch while I work. It’s on a deck facing east, under a large ash tree: not much direct sun. My other hives are in back with a full southern exposure.

I have a heck of a time keeping the studio bees healthy. They just get puny, despite being treated at least as well as all the others. They’re usually a swarm and do fine in mid summer, but don’t build up as fast, don’t winter as well, don’t make much honey, etc. They usually die out. Fun to watch, though.


Yours, Megan
 

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The old timer that taught me bees (RIP) always mentioned getting that first light in the morning. Since then, I have always looked for a sunrise location. I guess bees are like any other creature...the warmth of the sun gives life.
 
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