Of all my projects, deciding on becoming a beekeeper was one that I thought the most about. I wanted to make triple sure I was ready for bringing 10’s of thousands of bees to my subdivision.
Once I decided to go ahead with my project, I wanted to make sure I was doing everything right. I wanted to go about siting our Hives in a location that was healthy for the bees. Fulfilling their needs was important. So was while being convenient for me. High on my list of concerns was that the bees were sited in a way that did not bother my neighbors.
If you are like I was, figuring out where to put your new beehive took a lot of thought and research. In the article below I want to share what I learned and tried.
Sunshine Was My Biggest Concern
The number one concern of mine was that the area received good sunshine. This is because shaded colonies have more mites (http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?seq_no_115=154678)
I wanted my hives to be in a well drained area to keep down mold, rot, and bacteria. For convenience, I also wanted the hives close to the house. This meant I could keep an eye on them daily. It also meant that I would not have to carry heavy supers of honey farther than I needed.
I Worried About the Neighbors
But one of the biggest factors was that I wanted to pick an area that caused the least amount of disturbance to my neighbors. That ruled out my number one location in terms of what would be best for my bees. When bees leave the hive, they tend to fly in a straight line. This meant I needed to put the bees in a spot where they are not directly in front of the neighbors. If I had a solid fence it would force that line to be above the neighbor’s head.
My fence is woven wire. However, I did plant many blackberry plants on the fence so that it will eventually grown into a solid “privacy” fence. The portions of the fence without blackberries will soon be seeded with a “three-sister” style garden where I plant corn, squash, and pole beans along the fence so that it will also grow dense and thick.
I tried to make the ground level where I placed the hives. Unfortunately the only level spots in my yard are nearest my neighbors. Additionally, many of those spots are also shaded. I settled for leveling some concrete blocks. But eventually I plan on building a more permanent solution that involves some posts and 2×4 runners. That way I can build another fence around my hives so that it protects them even more from curious onlookers.
I Got a Warning Sign
Lastly, and strictly as an added protection for anyone stupid enough to want to mess with our hives I nailed a caution sign next to the hives (Caution: bees sting to protect their hive, do not come closer). This legislative session there are TWO bills that would protect a bee keeper from lawsuits stemming from bee stings, but you never know when someone may try to sue you. I guess I shouldn’t have asked for special monogrammed bees that have my name on them, but if I ask the bees to take that off, nobody could tell that they are mine…
Anyway, I do not have a perfect location, but if I waited to have a perfect location, I would never get any bees.
Watch the video to see where I placed my hives: