I am new to beekeeping and doing some learning, reading, research while considering which hive I should get. I have read some about bee shacks and indoor hives which lead me to wonder whether a flow hive could be located against the inside wall of my garage, with an extender/modified entrance to the outside. I’m in Columbus, Ohio, USA, USDA Zone 6a.
The garage is unheated, but walls insulated. There are two small windows that do not open (but could be blocked) and a standard 16ft wide overhead garage door.
The temperature inside ranges from a low of 30ºF (-1.1ºC, when the outside low temperature was -18ºF, -27.8ºC) to a high of 85ºF (29.4ºC). The Day/Night temperature variation is significantly reduced.
- When the hive is opened for inspection and maintenance, obviously there will be bees inside the garage - my understanding is that they should fly toward the light and will find their way back to the entrance once out. Is that correct?
- There will be no direct light on the hive. Does this result in any issues with hive temperature regulation or pests (SHB)?
- There is no wind/breeze. The garage door is open for only a few minutes a day during the week, a little more on the weekend. Will ventilation/condensation/mold be an issue?
- In the late fall, winter, and early spring when there is little to no nectar available will there be issues with dormancy, brooding, consumption of stores, etc. because the hive temperature will be quite a bit warmer than outside? Will the bees try to forage because they think it is warm or will they hunker down because they can sense the outside temperature via the entrance?
I am sure that I don’t even have the slightest idea of other important considerations, so I would love to hear the opinions/experiences of the more experienced keepers in the group…