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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be getting two hives toward the end of April and will be placing them in an isolated 18' by 18' ft area toward the front of my yard. The square shaped area will be surrounded on 3 sides by a building and 6 foot fencing. However, a large part of the 4th side will be completely open, and if the bees decided to use that open area as their flight path it would intersect with the regular pathway going to my house. If I face the hive entrances toward the fence, is it likely that they will fly up and out, or will they naturally want to make a turn out into the open area that has no fencing? I'm considering having a fence and gate built in this section, but would rather not! What is your opinion?
 

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How far from the path?
Fence will work.
 

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My hives are out back in our yard. I have a large mesh metal fence around the bee yard (to keep stray kids out). I walk right up in front of the hives to watch the activity. They shoot out and around me or up and over my head. If your hive isn't aggressive there shouldn't be any problem. They seem to go swirling upward for the training flights and cleansing flights from my observations. I can stand with in a foot to a yard or two of the front entry of any of my hives and they ignore me. I wait to put on my hat and veil until I'm right next to the back of the hives, they don't care about me until I pop the lid.
Now, my friends hive, they will head butt your chest if you got within eight foot of the hive. Approaching from the rear!
 

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Just don't aim the entrance toward the path. At some point being in front of a hive will cost you a sting. To the side or back of the hive you don't have much to worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, so the impression I am getting is that as long as I point my hive entrances away from the pathway, people won't be running into bees as they are walking down the path. That is what I am hoping. If anyone disagrees please say so! Thanks everyone for your input
 

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The direction the hive faces will help some. Wait and see what direction they want to go in for their foraging. There are two very distinct directions that my bees take off most of the time. Yours may find a strong source and head out in generally the same way all of the time. If it's not toward the path, you're golden. If it is toward the path I might try to put something in place to get them up above head level. If they fly across the path it's a sure bet that a bee with get caught in someon's long hair or on a sweater (they don't like fuzzy stuff) and possibly deliver a sting.
 

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It is true that some foragers may still fly toward your walk even if you face the entrance a different direction. Foragers won't try to sting you unless they get caught in hair and you swat at them. What you want to avoid are the guard bees.

They can be testy particularly after you have been in their hive. When they see you in front of their entrance, head butting and stinging can follow. That is the benefit of facing the entrance so that it does not face the walk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One thing that worries me is that the pathway leads to my garden, so I do wonder about the bees going that direction to forage. And if I decide later on that I should put a fence and gate there, will the construction activity disturb the bees?
 
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