Deciding Where to Put Your Beehive
So, you want to raise bees. You feel that you have time to manage a couple of hives. Now, where to put your beehive – that is the question. The best location for a beehive is the one that you have. It can be a bit more complicated, but almost everyone can find good placement for their new beehives. Give careful consideration to all of your options before giving up.
Ok, you have been “bitten” by the beekeeping bug. Deciding where to put your beehive that will not interfere with everyday life is one of your first hurdles. Hive placement is important and due some good consideration. Beehives are heavy. You can move them but it is much better if you don’t have to. Your neighbors and family members may not experience the “bee euphoria” that is enveloping you.
Luckily, honeybees are very adaptable and can live almost anywhere. You may find a perfect location for a beehive even if you live in a big city. Where can you put your beehive if you live in the city ? Urban beekeepers often have hives on rooftops. Hives can be located inside walled gardens. Some beekeeping associations develop community yards for their members to have a couple of colonies!
Those of us who live in rural settings have more options. Of course, there are a few municipalities that do not allow honeybee hives. Check with local authorities before investing in beekeeping. Does your community have other beekeepers? They can be a great resource to help you decide where to put you beehive. Also, beehive placement can affect how well your colony thrives.
This blog post may contain affiliate links. Read here.
Do I Need A lot of Flowers ?
Where you put your beehive doesn’t have to be near a field of wildflowers. Do you live in the city or a heavily wooded area? New beekeepers often worry if they have enough space for a couple of hives. And what will the bees eat ? The simple answer is yes most people do have room for a small number of hives. The hive itself doesn’t take up a lot of room. The bees will fly up to a mile (and more) to forage for water, pollen and nectar.
It is not necessary to have a lot of flowers in your yard. Yet the closer the resources are to the hive, the more productive your colony can be. I love to plant flowers that help honeybees and other pollinators. Beekeeping is about connecting with nature.
No matter where you put your beehive, it needs to be off the ground. Some beekeepers build sturdy wooden stands. When deciding where to put my beehives, I knew I wanted them up off the ground for easier lifting. Remember, your hive will have more than 1 or 2 boxes if it does well. Those boxes of honey are heavy. Most of my beehives are sitting on top with cement blocks with a couple of landscape timbers on top. A couple of colonies are sitting on sturdy wooden stands. Any method will work but be sure your stand is capable of holding several hundred pounds.
A simple plastic hive stand can be a good choice for some beekeepers. They are sturdy enough to hold the hives. Easy to relocate if you have to move. Most importantly, they do elevate the hive off the ground.
How Many Colonies Can I Have?
How many bee colonies you can have in one location? That depends on your climate and foraging conditions. Check with local beekeepers in your area and have realistic goals. In my area, in April when everything is blooming, my site could feed 50 hives. in July when it is hot and dry that is not the case.
Best Location For A Beehive
Location, location, location is very important in beehive placement. Lets consider some guidelines for deciding where to put your beehive. Remember, most of us do not have a perfect location that meets every guideline. If you try to work most of the guidelines into your location, life will be easier for you and the bees. Taking into account the following ideas will also help you learn where you can not put your beehive. Beehive placement is a serious decision. They can be moved but it is not an easy undertaking and can confuse your bees.
Accessibility To The Bees
Place your colonies in a location that is easy to get to in all seasons. As you perform maintenance or checks throughout the year, will there be mud, snow etc. . Honeybee colonies get heavy. They get very heavy. If you have to move a bee colony weighing several hundred pounds you need to be able to get there.
Do you have natural predators in your area? We have black bears and I have an electric fence. What about human predators? Every year I hear of beekeepers who have had beehives stolen. When considering “where to put my beehive”, try to find a close location that you can watch.
Where to Put Your Beehive ?
Most books will tell you to place your beehive so that the entrance is facing East or Southeast. Having the early morning sun shine on the front of the hive, warms the bees earlier in the day. This encourages the bees to begin their day with enthusiasm and start to work. Don’t get to hung up on this suggestion if it doesn’t fit your location. Don’t face the entrance toward the direction your cold winds will come from.
Honey Bee Hives Need Good Ventilation
Ventilation is an important consideration often overlooked. If your bees, live in a moist low lying area, too much humidity can cause an increase in disease. There is also a danger of flooding if located near a water source. Bees can fly– they don’t have to be right next to the creek.
Do You Need A Windbreak?
Cold winter winds can be a problem. As I was deciding where to put my beehive this was one issue that was not a problem. Here in the foothills of the South Carolina Mountains, I don’t need a windbreak. Those of you who live in windy cold climates might. A windbreak can be a structure such as a wall or a living wall of greenery. Its also not a bad idea for those who live in a neighborhood and want to have you hives been as unobtrusive as possible.
Should I Put My Beehive In Sun or Shade?
Is the best location for a beehive in the full sun or shade, which is best ? If you don’t live in an area with small hive beetles, dappled sunlight is the best location for your beehive. Placing beehives in hot sun makes the bees work harder to cool it. But small hive beetles seem to prefer hives that are in the shade. For the same reason, I don’t like mulch around my hives. Some people use black landscape fabric or decorative rock.
Your Best Location For A Beehive
Where to put my beehive ? Anywhere you can ! Take the guidelines into consideration. Chose the best place for the bees and the beekeeper. Hives can be moved but it is best to put them where you want them to be.