Guidelines on Siting a Honey Bee Hive site
- Author Lizzie Fisher
- Published December 22, 2011
- Word count 489
If you think of starting your own apiary, you would need to have the knowledge, skills and patience to set everything up. Once you have all of the equipment ready, apart from the bees, the main thing you need to do is set up the bee hives. But of course you could not just set them up anywhere. You must set them in the most appropriate site possible. There are a few things to bear in mind when choosing a site for your hives.
Choose a location where there is enough sunlight and shade for the bee hives. Remember to not place them in a damp place. Set the hives in an area where there will be no wind or driving rain. If you happen to be living in a cool area, keep the hives protected from strong winds. Don’t set them up in land depressions or frost pockets where snow could collect and fill up. Cold winds slow down the production of honey. It may be a good idea to set it away from your neighbors since this may cause nuisance if the main flight path to the hive is through their garden or across a pavement. That is why public areas are a no-no in siting the bee hives. Another thing to take into consideration is the hive entrance. Hive entrances should face south-east, south west or south. Never face it directly to the roads and pavements since people who might be passing by may get stung by the bees.
It is also a good idea to set up your beehives during spring when the bees build stronger and bigger colonies. They tend to swarm and make new colonies replacing their queen bee with a new one. If you want to start with an artificial hive, you can always purchase the commercially available ones. A commercial hive may be a little bigger as it has a larger brood area. If you are a beginner in beekeeping, you may want to start with a couple of bee hives so you can interchange them in the case that one hive may grow weaker.
It also helps if you have flowering plants in the area so the bees don’t have a difficult time in pollinating and collecting nectar for their honey. The bees need feeding and water so it is best if the area has a good access to water.
Your apiary site should not be too far away from where your honey extraction takes place. It may be hard to carry the honey supers and transport them to extraction rooms.
Keep the hives distant to each other. The bees may get confused with their colonies and too much proximity of their hives annoys them.
Siting bee hives need a lot of considerations. Your local district council may not approve of setting up bee hives in certain locations. Talking to your local beekeeping association and asking for advice.
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