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Hive Location/Orientation to Sun

 
Laurel Chen
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As part of a permaculture class, I'm designing a backyard in Berkeley, CA. The family whose yard we are designing is interested in keeping bees (yay). Regarding the placement of the hive, a couple questions came up and it would be wonderful if you had some answers or recommendations:

1. One spot we are thinking of for the beehives is facing Northwest and gets sun most of the day. After having read up on beehive placement, most recommendations say to have the entrance facing Southeast. Would Northwest entrance placement be a problem?

2. Our other spots that are facing southeast would have either pathways or outdoor seating within a few feet of the hive's entrance. Would this be a bad idea because people would end up being in the bee's pathway? I know bees won't be a problem just randomly stinging those in their paths, but in considering the fact that many people don't like to be in the beeline of bees, how far away should a hive bein relation to seating/pathways where people will be?

Thanks in advance!
 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Hi Laurel
Bees like to be in the sun in the spring and autumn in the morning BUT dont like it to get too hot in the summer as they need to keep the wax cool . Can you plant something round the hive that would shade it in the summer and force the bees high to they dont get in the way of paths etc . Something with fmowers in early sping or late fall would be good too.

David
 
Laurel Chen
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Hi David,

Thanks for your response. I think that we will look into planting some bushes/shrubs in front of the hive like you mentioned. Since the sun is usually shining year round where the hive will be in Berkeley and not intensely hotter in the summer or cooler in the winter, it seems like our location not facing ideal Southeast will be ok.

I really appreciate your insights.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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If you need to keep bee flight lines away from people tall plantings help. The bees will fly over them then away to forage, so won't bother people.
 
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