“Where should I put my hive?” The problem is there isn’t a simple answer. But in a list of decreasing importance I would pick these criteria with a willingness to sacrifice the less important ones altogether if they don’t work out:
Safety. It’s essential to have the hive where they are not a threat to animals who are chained or penned up and can’t flee if they are attacked, or where they are likely to be a threat to passerbys who don’t know there are hives there. If the hive is going to be close to a path that people walk you need to have a fence or something to get the bees up over the people’s heads. For the safety of the bees they should be where cattle won’t rub on them and knock them over, horses won’t knock them over and bears can’t get to them.
Convenient access. It’s essential to have the hive where the beekeeper can drive right up to it. Carrying full supers that could weigh from 90 pounds (41kg) (deep) down to 48 pounds (22kg) (eight frame medium) any distance is too much work. The same for bringing beekeeping equipment and feed to the hives. You may have to feed as much as 50 pounds (23kg) or more of syrup to each hive and carrying it any distance is not practical. Also you will learn a lot more about bees with a hive in your backyard than a hive 20 miles (32km) away at a friend’s house. Also a yard a mile or two from home will get much better care than one 60 miles (100km) from home.
Good forage. If you have a lot of options, then go for a place with lots of forage. Sweet clover, alfalfa being grown for seed, tulip poplars etc. can make the difference between bumper crops of 200 pounds (91kg) or more of honey per hive and barely scraping a living. But keep in mind the bees will not only be foraging the space you own, they will be foraging the 8,000 acres (32 square km) around the hives.
Not in your way. I think it’s important the hive does not interfere with anyone’s life much. In other words, don’t put it right next to a well used path where, in a dearth and in a bad mood, the bees may harass or sting someone or anywhere else where you are likely to wish they weren’t there.
Full sun. I find hives in full sun have fewer problems with diseases and pests and make more honey. All things being equal, I’d go for full sun. The only advantage to putting them in the shade is that you get to work them in the shade.
Out of the wind. It’s nice to have them where the cold winter wind doesn’t blow on them so hard and the wind is less likely to blow them over or blow off the lids. This isn’t my number one requirement, but if a place is available that has a windbreak it’s nice. This usually precludes putting them at the very top of a hill.
Not in a low-lying area. I don’t care if they are somewhere in the middle, but I’d rather not have them where the dew and the fog and the cold settle and I really don’t want them where I have to move them if there’s a threat of a flood.
If you live in a very hot climate, mid afternoon shade might be a nice to have, but I wouldn’t lose sleep over it.
In the end, bees are very adaptable. They really don’t care, so make sure it’s convenient for you, and if it’s not too hard to provide, try to meet some of the other criteria. It’s doubtful you’ll have a place that meets all of the criteria listed above.