I do not yet have a hive but am interested in becoming a beek and in having a Flow Hive. I have a small yard at my house that is fully landscaped. For a variety of reasons I don’t really have a convenient location for a hive.
So I am considering a hive on my roof. I know that in urban areas some beeks have hives on their roof. I live in a mild temperate climate near San Francisco, California. It never snows. A few days a year the temperature might get down to 29F for a few hours in the early morning. In late summer occasionally temps get over 90F. 95F is almost unheard of.
I have a single family (detached) 1600 sq ft home. About a third of my roof is flat. The surface color is off white. It is not shaded at all. The edge of the flat roof is only 9 feet high and easily accessible using a good extension ladder.
My concerns are:
– The hive might overheat in late summer, and there is nothing currently on my roof that I could use to attach a shade cloth to, though conceivably I could rig up something.
– During a winter storm winds could exceed 50mph (rare here, but possible). I do have some vent pipes that I could drill holes in and attach lightweight cables to and secure them to the hive through eyebolts screwed into the frames. Or maybe I secure the hive roof piece with cables that pull downwards slightly and have a clip on each cable so I can easily disconnect them. In that way there would be downward pressure on the entire hive.
– In 20 years I might not have the physical ability to climb up and get down from the roof (but for the near future this is not a concern, so it is last on this list)
Any other concerns I should have, or ways to deal with the first two issues listed?
A rooftop location would seem to have definite advantages for me:
– No alteration in the appearance of my carefully landscaped small yard (a trivial issue to some, but important to me).
– People moving around my yard will not disturb the bee’s flight path.
– I can easily orient the hive so that the opening faces east and is unobstructed (not easy to do in my small yard).
– The hive will be safe from the raccoons, skunks, and squirrels which frequent my yard, and will likely not be exposed to mice or rats either (my house has no attic and its design is such that it is unlikely that rodents will be on the roof). Ants are also unlikely to be on my roof.