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Hive location - Advise Requested


#1

Hi all!

I’ve had a read through a bunch of location threads on this forum, as well a youtube and various other documents on the web, and I’m fairly happy with my chosen location, however I just wanted to get confirmation/advise before locking it in so to speak.

I’ve added a photo below for reference.

The yellow star is the proposed hive location (Hive entrance facing to the top of map which is north, good sun and dappled shade depending on time of year, I’m southern hemisphere)
The blue line is our drive and turning circle heading to the shed (approx 25m/80ft away from hive location) next to the vegetable garden (south west).
The purple line is a seldom (max monthly) used access track to our property boundary.
Chickens are free range in electric netting that we move around and there will be fodder crops growing there for them soon.
Veg refers to our under construction vegetable garden (currently tomatoes and sweet potatoes).
Orchard is under construction as well (currently just a couple of citrus).
The thin green line is a low voltage overhead power line
2 x dams within 75m (250ft) and 150m (500ft)
Hives will be situated on stands on a 5x5m gravel area (so i don’t need to mow near) with deciduous short trees to the west to take some of the summer blast
Neighbors property line is the thin yellow one running next to the purple, their house is over 250m (800ft) away.
Our house is 50m (170ft) away

Many thanks


#2

Hi felix, I have to say that as long as you can protect the hives from the hot overhead and western sun you should be right anywhere on your property. I like to have my hives in semi-shade, some are even in deep shade during winter (out of necessity rather than design) without any ill effects on them. But in our climate, the baking hot summer sun will be detrimental to your bees, many beekeeper friends of mine lost hives in Sydney during the 40C+ days last summer.
Bees also need year round forage which is not possible in the Australian rural areas, so you may need to either feed or leave large amounts of honey in the hive during the dearth periods. This is the main reason why Australian beekeepers are migrating their bees all over the country, just to keep them alive. Your trees and veggies are unlikely to provide enough forage though every little bit helps. I would suggest you put together a flowering calendar for your area, that way you could plan your pasture to supplement the bees during the year when the forest around is dry. At least you won’t need to worry about a water supply, those dams are ideal.


#3

As Rod said, don’t get into the robbing then feeding mentality. I leave lots of honey in my hives so they can get through derths. Another good thing is that the bees are eating their natural diet. I could feed you on spuds and work you but you would not be your best. The same for sugar water, it will keep them alive but not necessarially strong.

Cheers
Rob.


#4

Sounds like Matt Damon in The Martian! He even ran out of ketchup, just potatoes in the last few days. I enjoyed that movie:


#5

Haha, I would not want 10s of thousands of Matt Damon buzzing around that’s for sure.

So @Rmcpb by that rationale would running two brood boxes be beneficial?

@Rodderick I might consider some additional shading trees. I’ll also look at adding flowering dates to my list below.

With regards to planting additional bee ‘food’, I’ve actually asked this question as well (see below). I have compiled a list (I call it my plant tome) of 74 native local plants that are beneficial to birds, butterflies etc inc 24 that are specifically known as winners with bees. Lots of Acacias, Grevilleas, Leptospermum, Banksia etc. The dam wall, the bit in the blue circle and the area under the power lines are all earmarked for re-vegetation from the list as well as some areas that are not shown in that photo.

Thanks everyone


#6

Yep, I run double brood boxes so they have plenty of reserves and its easier to manage swarms in spring with the extra room. It also gives you a bigger hive and they can really pull in the nectar in a flow. Wins all round :sunglasses:

CHeers
Rob.


#7

with regards to orientation/location, catching the sunrise with entrances pointing approx north east (in southern hemisphere) is good for bees health and productivity, later in the day is not so critical.

Putting hives in chicken runs works well, they leave each other alone, use hive stands such that the hive entrances aren’t so low that the bee’s flight paths are constantly below chicken head height. Your protective fence could benefit the hives too, consider putting them inside the fence (not sure what wildlife you might have that might rob or topple the hives),


#8

Hi Rod

Curious… I was told by an experienced Qld commercial breeder that hives in full sun all day is not a problem - as it helps control SHB?

Thoughts?

I currently have my hive in a position where it gets little shade through summer - wondering if this was a bit hard on them last summer…

Rae


#9

I forget how big Qld is. We’ve just moved from Central Queensland, so humidity was usually <5% but temps would be +35C. Now on the coast, humidity is nuts and the average high is a lot lower.

@wessexmario I can’t think of any wildlife that would rob hives around us, more likely would be our knob of a 45kg Doberman crashing into it… :roll_eyes:


#10

When it comes to SHB, they proliferate and breed in humidity. So the drier your conditions, the less beetle you should find in your hives. But I have found the hotter the hives the more bees are needed to ventilate the hive which takes them away from foraging and nursing, another reason is during the hot weather, many bees vacate the hive to assist in the cooling by congregating on the outside (bearding).
I use pitched rooves on my hives as extra insulation from the heat and the cold, similar to the Flow Hive roof, they work a treat.