You can keep beehives just about anywhere, from the countryside to the city and even in the corner of your garden. You don’t need much space or flowers on your property, and bees are not particularly picky creatures. However, there are some things that they will prefer over others. Where should you not put a beehive?
When deciding where to place a beehive, you should always avoid valleys and hills, along with areas that receive constant high foot traffic, such as children, pets, neighbors, and vehicles. You should also never put your beehives too close to your garden, in direct sun, or too close to each other.
Bees are highly adaptable, but it is up to you as the beekeeper to get the optimum results and a more rewarding honey harvesting season! Continue reading with us to read all the don’ts of beehive placement!
5 Worst Placements For A Beehive
Whether you are a newer beekeeper or a beekeeper looking to expand their hive quantities, it is crucial to have the correct hive placement, as it could make all the difference in the success of your hives.
Let’s take a more in-depth look together at the five worst placements for a beehive:
Placing A Beehive On Valleys Or Hills
In a bee’s natural habitat, they will often choose to live in tree hollows anywhere above 20 feet off of the ground. This not only helps them to steer clear of predators but also helps to keep them away from the cold air that might be traveling close to the surface of the ground.
The biggest problem most beekeepers experience when placing their beehives near a valley is that the cold air usually settles there. If you place your beehive in a valley, it could potentially lead to your bees inside of the hive getting too cold to survive through the winter.
On the other hand, placing your beehives on a hill may cause upward drafts of wind to blow into their hives. When a cold upward wind draft makes contact with beehives during the winter, it could become icy cold, especially if you’re making use of screened bottom boards.
The last issue beekeepers experience when placing their hives in a valley or on a hill is that they must do almost twice the work to carry the bee box from and to the apiary.
A standard, medium-sized bee box can weigh anywhere between 50 and 60 pounds when packed full of honey! This then becomes apparent that it can be extremely difficult to carry this weight up and down a hill!
Placing A Beehive Near High Foot Traffic Areas
Many backyard beekeepers tend to be oblivious to the suggestion of avoiding high foot traffic areas and high actual traffic areas!
Bees will always choose to live as far as possible from all the action, and beekeepers should not go against their bee’s wishes and put them in harm’s way.
Your bees will always feel more relaxed and less threatened in an area that doesn’t have neighbors, children, or cars present.
Placing A Beehive Too Close To Your Garden
You may think you’re helping your beloved bees by placing them into close range of your garden and delicious flowers, but this could do more harm than good!
Bees are clever creatures, and they will ultimately find your garden without you having to encourage them.
However, the main problem you will encounter when placing your beehives too close to your garden is that you may have difficulty working in it. You will be constantly pelted by bees while tending your flower or vegetables.
Bees can fly anywhere around 15 mph on their way from and to their hives, which could feel similar to you being shot with Nerf darts. Ouch!
Another potential problem could be that your bees become agitated when you work too close to their hives, stinging you and anybody close to them.
Placing A Beehive In Direct Sun
When considering the amount of shade and sun for your bees, you also need to consider heat. Many beekeepers place their beehives in the direct sun, and beehives in the sun could very quickly get very hot!
The hotter a hive becomes, the harder the bees need to work to keep their hive cool enough.
In addition to this, too many warm bee bodies inside of the hive could make the heat problem even worse, so some of the bees in the hive may leave the nest, assembling on the outside of the hive in clumps. This is known as bearding, and you can take this as an indication of a hot or overheated beehive.
Placing Beehives Too Close To Eachother
Many beekeepers make this mistake, which is more common than you think! When considering where to place your newest beehive, you need to leave adequate space to work on your bees, do hive inspections, and do honey extractions.
Bees won’t often choose to build a colony next to another existing colony in their natural habitat, but modern beekeepers have found that they don’t seem to mind much.
However, it is essential that you leave at least 6 inches open between beehives, as you may find it to be challenging to work on the hives that are placed too close to each other.
The bees won’t mind, but you may fear that they will try to rob each other’s hives if you put them too close to one another.
However, the truth is that all bees will try to rob each other, no matter how far you have placed them from each other.
You can, however, try to minimalize the possibility of robbing by setting your hive’s entrance reducer to its smallest opening setting. You can do this until your new hive has settled in and gained some well-needed strength.
The best thing about knowing where you should not place your beehive is that you can work on where the optimal placement would be! If any of the above no-no’s have applied to you, it is advised to move your beehive, especially if you think it would play a role in making your beehive a bigger success!