SITING A HIVE

small bee

When placing a hive we need to consider the needs of the bees and the beekeeper.

Bees benefit from morning sun on the doorstep, as we all do. Protection from damp and strong wind also helps. There are some obvious places to avoid that shouldn’t need mentioned, such as flood prone river banks, dark damp gullies or on the edge of children’s playgrounds! As always, there are no absolutes here. If you can’t get sun on the hive, they will make do; they may just be a bit slower to start their day. There are things you can do to make life easier for your bees and keep them healthier. A sheltered, sunny, dry spot is an ideal site to place a hive (nobody likes a wet bottom!) Your hive will grow through the season; so avoid low hanging branches overhead, unless you want to undertake a spot of tree surgery in the summertime.

You will need space around the hive to work, stack boxes and wield a hive tool. A quiet space in front of the hive will minimize disruption to their flight path. If placed in a domestic section, take note of the washing line location. If too close or in the flight line, you may get the double whammy of being stung by a resting bee as you gather the washing in, with the addition of a splattering of orange dots on your white shirts and bed sheets!

If you get this wrong first time, you may need to move your hive… roll on another rough guide…