So I have no bee hive now and am adding at least one now. I have a good pond and then a smaller pond down the hill. How close should I have the hive to the water? I have lots of clover in my fields and we garden and do flowers so I think I have a good setup for bees
I have trees by both ponds but there is a lot more traffic by the big pond and I worry a bit about interactions with people
within 100 yards is plenty close. within a mile is probably fine, too, though closer won't hurt.
make sure they've got a safe exit from the closest water source. steep walls will lead to drowned bees. I'm guessing most ponds would be fine, but bees seem to like perching on mats of algae to sip water. I've seen thousands at once on hot days.
Closer would be better, but probably not a HAVE to. I would take the time to figure out how to get multiple uses for the small pond.
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Congrats on making the pond, please share some pics
Keeping bees in matter of logic and economics.
away from the roads = you don't get dust in honey and bees on windshields.
near clover field = plant it so that it flowers at 27-32°C. It is kind of slow crop so you can get away with not placing your hives near it.
pond = grow rush (Typha latifolia) in it for your smoker. Harvest when green and dry it.
water source = needs to be as sterile as possible. Sun does great job at that. Also, warmer water is better (20+C)
bees not drowning = bees are creatures of habit. They come back where it is closest to them or where you attract them with some honey.
See where they land and save them from drowning at that exact spot. Use imagination