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Hive location, Sun, Partial Shade, Shade?

 
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exmar
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Apr 2014
Posts: 28
Location: SE Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 5:56 pm    Post subject: Hive location, Sun, Partial Shade, Shade? Reply with quote

I've been doing a lot of reading about "best" locations and am confused. There are a lot of folks who feel that direct sun is the best location provided there is a suitable windbreak for cold winter winds. There is also the school of thought that the Small Hive Beetle thrives in shaded hives. Naturally, there is also the group that favors partial to full shade.

From my own observations of feral colonies here on the farm, they are all in the woods, from "not too far in, to a couple of hundred feet in. Typically located in "knotholes" in trees. Obviously, all are shaded. Also, have a lot of woods. Smile

When I lived in upstate New York, (Oswego) a swarm moved into a hollow in a pear tree in the back yard. That was about the largest tree in the area. I left them alone, they left us alone, garden loved 'em.

When I got my first hive, knowing little about it, put it in a small locust thicket facing east. It's been happy there for about five years. This spring we did a split, so now have two in that location. My rationale was that it was better for them to enjoy some shade and have to spend less energy cooling the hive. Since they seem to be thriving in that location, not going to move them twenty feet out in the sun. I am once again faced with the question that is getting to be routine in almost all areas of beekeeping. Are they thriving because of me, or in spite of me?

Thanks for your time,

Ev
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mfk
New Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2015
Posts: 9
Location: Frankfurt/Germany

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I gather Bees try to have the temperature inside the hive at 35°C. In Summer when outside temperatures are high, they will need to cool it down. The rest of the time they will need to heat it.

The question I'd ask myself is: how many days in the year will they need to heat and how many will they need to cool the hive at each location.

My guess would be that they'll fare better in a spot with direct sunlight, but that's just guesswork and might be different at your location. Of course I'm just a beginning beekeeper, so this is just reasoning, not actual experience.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natural beekeeping = understanding what bees do naturally. As you say, they choose to live in shaded places.

I think the full sun idea is a Victorian one to encourage the bees to fly earlier and later in the day, and in dull weather with the plan to make more honey.

Having said that, they can also do very well in full sun if you don't have access to woodland. I place bait hives in full and partial sun with some success.

Quote:
Are they thriving because of me, or in spite of me?


If ever you find out, do let us know! Confused
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exmar
Nurse Bee


Joined: 16 Apr 2014
Posts: 28
Location: SE Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses. Starting to figure out that finding a "best" answer to a question on beekeeeping is an impossible dream as bees are so adaptable. I guess "First, do no harm" should be a mantra for beekeepers. BTW, that's not part of the hippocratic oath.

Thanks again,

Ev
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