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bee hives: sun or shade?

 
Kelda Miller
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In thinking about placement for hives, should I think about how much sun the site gets? Does it matter? My intuition thinks winter sun/summer shade would be easiest for the bees...
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Sun and shade are really important.

Skeeter has a picture of some hives he managed a long time ago.  And I tried to emulate it, but never found out the results.

So anyway ....  In the cooler months, the sun REALLY helps!  Those bees need to maintain a certain hive temp, and they either burn up their honey generating heat, or the have big stores of honey for you to eat. 

Another helper is to insulate the hives - especially in the cooler months.  And to provide some mid-day shade in the hot months.

Most people don't care that much and just put the hives in all day sun and feed the bees lots of sugar water.  I think that feeding them sugar water is not nearly as good as letting them eat their own honey.

 
Dave Boehnlein
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Location: Orcas Island, WA
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Our hives are all in full sun. In our climate (Orcas Island) we don't get hot enough to be concerned about them overheating. Those with temperatures regularly in the 90s & 100s have more to be concerned about from the heat.  It is definitely more important to make sure they aren't cold/wet in the winter around these parts.

Dave
 
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