Hive Location – A tip for the beginner

I cut a 1″ hole in the cheese cloth this morning
to let Hive-D.3’s foraging bees slowly enter.

I swapped Hive-D with Hive-D.3 yesterday. This segues into today’s topic – Hive Placement.

Most books will tell you that the best location to place a hive is in a sunny area, with a windbreak, and an easterly view… and they are right. However, what most of them seem to leave out is that the hive should be placed in a location that you can drive fairly close to.

Now of course, when you have to put hives on other people’s land, you have to take what you can get. But keep in mind, a deep hive can weigh over 80lbs and a 5 gallon bucket of sugar water can weigh as much as 60lbs. That’s a lot of weight to carry for 100-200yards. Even with my hand cart, the process of driving out 15 miles into the country, swapping (2) hives, and checking the other (4) in that yard took a few hours – when it should have only taken minutes.

So whenever possible, place your hives in a convenient location for hauling equipment.

So back to my hive swap. The biggest hurdle I had to overcome was old equipment. Some of this equipment has holes in the corners where the bees freely move in and out. Not bad for ventilation but not so good for transportation.

The solution… Cheese Cloth. I bought a pack of cheese cloth and wrapped the hives up tight. This let air in and out while keep the bees inside. I kind of expected them to get caught in the cloth like they do in dryer sheets but they seem to move on it quite freely. I also considered plastic wrap but I worried it might make the bees too hot. In the end the cheese cloth worked perfectly.

New Apiary Map

So Hive-D (the same hive that gave me 60 stings a few weeks back) is now tranquilly sitting in my
back yard. The new queen (a highbred of Broke-T’s VSH queen and the survival stock of my apiary) has calmed the hive down splendidly.

Hive-D.3 on the other hand is much more aggressive but not so much it is hard to deal with. I placed a frame of young brood from Hive-D.2 into Hive-D.3 and hopefully it has a few viable larva in it to requeen with. I’ll check it Saturday if weather permits.

Sadly, D.1 did not survive the hive beetles. The hive was abandoned and with all of its stores robbed, the beetles had left too.

So of the (3) VSH Queens I bought, only one survived. This is not Broke-T’s fault. Hive-D.1 was overcome by beetles and I am sure that Hive-D.3 lost the queen due to my careless manipulations the day I checker-boarded the hive.

Not to worry though as Hive-D now has the queen I wanted. This highbred should be stronger and calmer than any queen I’ve had before and will become the mother of most of my future stock.

New Hive Count: (8) hives – (2) mini nucs.

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