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Distance from hive to human activity


I have limited areas that I can set my hives where they’ll receive more than 4 hours of sunlight. This is Texas, and hell takes notes on how to get this hot in the summer so it may not matter but the heat can agitate bees. I can not put any kind of barrier. I need to know how far away from a hot but calm hive can there be human activity?

We’ll have to harvest fruit 8 meters from one location and there’s a high traffic walkway 10 meters away from the other.


I don’t understand what you mean by “hot but calm”. If it’s a calm hive, you could be safe a meter away. If it’s a hot hive, even 8-10 meters could be too close. A “hot hive” is a term for an angry hive, assuming that that’s what you meant.

It’s worth bearing in mind that a calm hive can turn “hot”.


Hot as in 105 degrees, (40 C) in the shade. I should have chosen a better word.


If you point the entrance of the hive away from the fruit trees and the walkway, that will minimize any problems. Bees hate large animals in front of their hives, especially if they are directly in the flight path. The other thing you can do is to erect a 6 foot “flyover barrier” around the hive. This forces the bees up above head height when they exit, and generally they stay at this height or higher until they reach their foraging area. Here is what we did to stop our bees from bothering gardeners in the local community garden. We have never had a complaint about bees bothering people:


I would not have thought a chain link fence could alter their flight path. I can put up a fence. How critical is it for the hive to be in the sun. We have hot summers and a one week winter in Texas.


There is insect screen attached to the fencing. :blush: I just used the garage door insect screen that you can get in Home Depot or from Amazon - pretty cheap and very convenient as it has eyelets in it already, making it easy to zip tie to the fencing. Here is the one I used. It lasted for just over 2 years. Will have to replace it now. I could just duct tape the repairs, but it wouldn’t look great, so I am buying new:

Similar to us in southern California :slight_smile: I would say it isn’t terribly important, until it is. Sorry for the vague answer, but it just depends. There is some evidence that bees deal with small hive beetles (SHB) better if they get plenty of full sun on the hive.

If you find repeated chalkbrood in a hive, it can help to move it to a sunnier spot.

All of my hives get some shade every day, and my strongest hive probably has only about 3 hours of sun per day. However, they get the sun in the morning, and I think that helps quite a bit with activating them for the day. If you think about colonies before humans, they picked hollow trees. Trees are in forests. Forests are generally pretty shady places. Providing everything else is favorable (good forage, protected from strong winds etc), I don’t see why significant shade wouldn’t be tolerated.


The main thing to do, in my view as far as hot conditions are concerned is to have the hive painted a cool color. Don’t get caught up with extra ventilation. I believe that extra ventilation only works against what the bees do themselves to air condition the hive. Having a nearby water source will aid the bees.


I believe I’ll put a fence around the hives and place them where they’ll get sun until about 4 pm. The lake will be about 30 meters from the hives.