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Backyard Hive Placement Help (Pictures!)

Hi all! I’ll be getting a 5-frame nuc here in the next two weeks and I am trying to figure out exactly where I am going to place my backyard hive. Here are the photos of my backyard, taken from the backdoor of the house looking out.

Facing north/northeast:

Facing east:

Facing south/southeast:

I would like to place somewhere on the north side of the yard, facing east. From what I can tell, this will give the hive the best exposure to morning sun and direct light during the day. It should be noted that I am in the Rocky Mountains at over 7000 ft elevation and while the summers are warm, they are relatively short. The winters are long and can be very harsh.

I was considering placing the hive inside the chain link portion of the yard toward the east end, but I am hesitant to do that for two reasons. The first is that I am also using that area as a garden, and that will make accessing the hive more difficult. The second reason is that the entrance to my neighbors house faces the fence there (facing south) and is only 10’ or so away from the fence. In other words, I would feel comfortable if I created a little more space between my neighbor’s front door and the hive.

Given all of that, I was considering placing it on either the outside of the chain link enclosure in the middle of the yard or near the east end of the chain link enclosure on either the south or east side (sort of where the red motorcycle is in the pictures now). I’m hesitant to put it too close to the east end of the yard because some of the early morning sun will be blocked; however, the more west I move the hive the closer to the middle of my yard it moves. I do have a dog, so it would be possible to put up a 4’ chicken wire enclosure around the hive at least at first to keep my dog away.

Sorry for the rambling post, I hope that made sense. I’m a brand new beekeeper so I’m open to any and all suggestions. Thank you!

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I am new to bee keeping too, just got my two hives going last month. I have however spent many years installing and repairing power lines and would suggest that if a crew had to replace the line going thru your tree and to your house they might think twice about working around an active hive. Most of the guys will work on fixing a line if a hive is near by but if the hive is right under the lines they need to work on they might ask you to move the hive before they will do the work.

I live in the Seattle area and while it’s cool most of the time we seem to have been getting some warmer weather. The sun is nice but I wish I had a little more shade on the hives because the other day when it got to be in the 80’s the girls were working hard to cool things down. We put our camping 10x10 portable canopy up to shade them. I am now thinking about building some sort of shelter that will shade the hives in the summer and can block the wind in the winter.

Hope some other more experienced keepers can make some suggestions to help you out with your project. Good luck.


Your canopy for protecting from rain or sunshine ? I live east of Renton here in Washington state. Never seen any reason for roofs or canopy … Especially blocking sunlight ( what little we get here in the foothill winter) would not allow winter heating of your hives. I’ve never covered mine here … Just food for thought. Hardest thing is keeping the winter condensate less here… Good to see another beekeeper from our state here … What city or area are you in ?
Take care,



I put the temp canopy up after that day where we went from the 60s then up to almost 90 degrees overnight. Got home from work that evening and thought the girls were ready to swarm because so many were out of the hive…on the shady side. As soon as it started to cool off they filed back in like they did after I put the nuc frames in the hive. I’ve seen some interesting shelters on that pinintrest site and might try to build a lean to of sorts to provide a little shade in the hot mid day summer sun and the rain from directly hitting the hives in the winter.

Live in the south end of Seattle, grew up in the Issaquah/Fall City area. Old enough to remember the traffic light on I-90 and to see the trains traveling over the old trestle. Boy have things grown up!

Keep cool, we’re supposed to get another couple of warm days here this week.

I like putting them where the motorcycle is or behind the shed. Facing east for either location.

If you know that they are coming, you can always close the entrance with some #8 hardware cloth the night before. I do that when I get an insecticide spray alert, and it works just fine.


Wow ! If you can remember the old Red Flashing light your older than dirt ! :grinning:. I graduated from Issy in 1964. My Ag project was beekeeping. Do you remember the Triple XXX n R.R tressle that Hwy # 10 went under ?? Did you GO to Issy also ?

I do my hive inspects today … Suppose to get sunny by afternoon so crossing my fingers. Want to see how my captured swarm is doing after 8 days… And other 3 hives. Had to add supers last Monday. They were stuffed already. They needed room !!

Yah ! Mine beard too. One more than the others but not concerned. That’s pretty normal … I’m more concerned about the moist fall/winter/early spring cold days. Sooner they get warmed up the sooner they get out n forage.

Thankz for the chit chat Bro n stay in touch.

Sounds good. Do you think behind the shed will be too close to the southern edge of the fence, and therefore limit the winter light exposure?

I’d put them facing east with dappled sun in the afternoon. That’s what i’ve been told anyways and that’s what i did. I’m up in Alaska so probably similar weather to you.

I think they’ll be fine. But winter is the best time to move a hive if you’re concerned. My hives are right up against the south side of my fence and they overwinter pretty good. I’m in usda zone 7.

I’m in zone 2a. :smiley: tis a bit brutal. Gets to -50f here sometimes.

Mount Si in 82. Only gal in my class to get a vocational certificate. 4H and FFA. Love the outdoors, would go crazy behind a desk. Grandparents lived in High Point and I spent lots of time with them when i was growing up. Shopped in Issaquah and have lots of family in the area. Great area to grow up in.

How did the hive inspection go today. The weather really cleared up in the afternoon. I noticed the blackberry bushes are a few days away from blooming. The girls will love those flowers! I added a medium super on Mother’s Day and when that is full I’ll add a second medium super. Going with the deep on the bottom, two mediums then the flow hive. They filled the deep super licity split so I suspect the first medium will be full soon.

I’ll look forward to seeing more of your posts and pictures on the forum.



Awesome day from 13:00 onward. Only hit mid 60’s but felt warmer working in my bees.

. I only picked up the Nuc’s 4/15 n last week I had to add super to all three. they explored n were at 85 to 90% last week before I added the 10 frame deep box. Found what I believe to be swarm cells on bottom of two frames but only 5 of those cells total. To buy time … I removed the cells n will watch to see if the replace them next week. If so I will really look for her Magesty n probably do a split. Nothing to loss n more to learn. I have a couple extra hive backup hive setups extra. I built them last winter. I also caught a swarm the Saturday (8 days ago today). They are doing well in their 5 frame Nuc … I might add a extra super to that small swarm hive next Monday. It’s festinating getting back into the beekeeping. Lots to catch up on pest n disease. . Got to get dishes done … My sweetheart has M.D. so I do all the cooking n house work now. I’m getting into a rythum now. Take care … Gerald

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Hello Jerry, my friend!

Great photos, thank you for taking the time and effort to make them.

I know you can’t see as well as you would like, but unless there were eggs and royal jelly in those cells, they may just be “play cups” - bees practicing their crafting skills. I wouldn’t split them unless you are really convinced that they are going to swarm. If they already have extra space, they may lose interest. I am glad you are going to wait another week, as I would be very hesitant to split such a young colony.

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Splitting is a very last resort. I am usually in my backyard 3 to 4 times a day …, I’d rather keep the hive whole as the main black berry season is nearly upon us this week or next ! Need the bee power ! Plus I have two bait hives on backup plan as well. Thanks for the note n encouragement. Helps keep my dead brain n poor eyes out of trouble … I’ve taken movies of each inspection. Today I used dual cameras. I’m very carefully going back over each hive inspection tonight. It’s also helps me to see bad technics n try a better one.

Thankz my friend This is not exactly beekeeping but I got 4 chicks today for my mama setting hen. She’s a real setter ! within 10 to 15 minutes she had them under her wings. Got a lot going on in the back “40” :grinning:. Nitie nite. Gerald


They are adorable, as is Vera! Thank you for sharing. :blush:

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