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Flood irrigation & beehive location


#1

I have the perfect spot for my HoneyFlow hives - behind the shed next to the apricot and plum tree so it will be undisturbed, shaded (I live in the Phoenix, Arizona area), and near food & water. My question is, once a month we flood irrigate the orchard and for 24 hours the yard is replaced by a small pond. The beehive will be surrounded by water (raised up on blocks to keep it high and dry). Will this confuse the bees or create any other problems?


#2

I will be very interested to see what others say. I imagine a few bees may drown trying to take a drink, but bees are pretty smart, and usually head for edges of a pool rather than diving into the middle.

Will the hive be in the middle of the pond, or near an edge? If is near an edge, you could just face the entrance away from the pond. Another thought - some bees “miss” the landing board when they come back laden with pollen and nectar, so you may want to put a cinder block in front of (and immediately below) the entrance to give them a dry place to land if they miss - they then get a chance to take off and try again! :blush:

One other thing you could do to dissuade them from flying down from the hive entrance into the water, is to put a barrier, like an insect screen, just in front of the hive. If you put it, say 2 feet in front of the entrance, and it is 6 feet high, you will force the bees up and onto their commute, rather than letting them dive into the water. In my city, we have to do this anyway to reduce the nuisance of low-flying bees to neighbors and passers-by. It is a bit of work to set it up, but it is effective.

Anyhow, just a few thoughts for you.

Dawn


#3

Thanks for the tips! Sounds like good advice. The spot is only about 10’ from the water edge. I have a bunch of block lying around so extending the platform out at the entrance to give more landing area is easy enough. In fact, I could potentially get really industrious and make a path all the way and turn Bee Island into Bee Peninsula. I was more worried that the bees would get disoriented and might not find their way back. I’ve heard stories (which I don’t know whether to believe or not) that moving a hive even 3 feet can cause the bees to get lost so I was afraid that them waking up to lawn being replaced by water could be disastrous.


#4

I would worry about the stand sinking into the ground. But otherwise they should be fine. A heavy productive hive can weigh a few hundred pounds…