If you are wondering where to place your beehive, this article is for you!
One of the most common questions I get asked by people who are thinking about adding bees to their garden space is, “Where should I place my beehives?”
It’s a very important question and choosing a site for your hives will affect their health and well being as well as how hard or easy it is for you to work them. You can keep bees anywhere from in a suburban garden to a city rooftop as long as you take a few things into consideration. Here are the things you need to think about before you place your hives.
Place your hives in full sun if possible. Ideally the hive entrance should face east. The first rays of morning sun tell the bees it’s time to get to work. Sun is important to the health of the hive and helps keep small hive beetle numbers low. Pests seem to thrive in shade. Also it will keep the hive worm when bees hibernate in winter.
Choose a spot that is well drained. You don’t want to lose your hives to flooding and it’s easier to tend your bees if your aren’t working in mud. Dry ground also means less shifting of hives and it is important to keep things somewhat level.
Choose a site with a nearby water source. Bees need water and you don’t want them to use your neighbor’s pool. Provide water if none is nearby. Bees love salt and adding a pinch of salt to the water can be helpful in attracting them to your water source.
Place hives on support of some kind. Putting your hives on cinder blocks or stand keeps the beekeeper from having to bend over so far. Your hives will also last longer up off the ground where the wood won’t rot and be less accessible to pests and predators. It will be also more convenient to harvest honey.
Choose an area that it is easy for you to get to. You’ll be taking equipment to the hive and eventually carrying honey laden frames and supers away. Think about how you will do that.
Consider your neighbors and others who come into your garden or yard. Always place the entrances of hives facing the opposite direction of foot traffic. It’s best to place hives where neighbors cannot see them as certain things like swarming can look scary and you may not want an audience every time you do a hive inspection. Also take into consideration that occasionally a hive turns aggressive, which happened to me this spring. I had to move them to a more secluded area.
Check the laws in your municipality for regulations, which vary greatly from place to place.
Image featured from @itsmydarlin
Michelle is a beekeeper and master gardener. She writes about beekeeping and gardening and loves to take pictures in the hives to share her love of bees with readers. She's interested in helping people reuse and upcycle objects for use in the home and garden. She never met a potting shed she didn't like. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
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