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Cedar Field John 

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Hello,

I've got many possible locations for my very first hive, but in the best location the hive entrance would face North. Is this an absolute no no? Is it a hard and fast rule that hives must face South or Southish?

Thanks.
 

Boston Bees 

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No, it is not a hard and fast rule. I have several north facing hives, as well as hives facing pretty much every other direction.

South or east facing is one factor that is said to help colonies, but compared to other factors (varroa load, strength of queen, beekeeper management technique, suitability of bees for local weather etc etc) I suspect it is a fairly minor determinant of the success of a colony.

(my hives are all poly, which may be relevant)
 
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Cedar Field John 

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No, it is not a hard and fast rule. I have several north facing hives, as well as hives facing pretty much every other direction.

South or east facing is one factor that is said to help colonies, but compared to other factors (varroa load, strength of queen, beekeeper management technique, suitability of bees for local weather etc etc) I suspect it is a fairly minor determinant of the success of a colony.
Thank you very much. I think I might choose the North Facing location in that case. 👍
 

Beebe 

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Hello,

I've got many possible locations for my very first hive, but in the best location the hive entrance would face North. Is this an absolute no no? Is it a hard and fast rule that hives must face South or Southish?

Thanks.
Amongst the many interesting suggestions in the free book found in the thread linked to below, is that the entrance should face north. The reasoning behind this is that the hive then receives the very first and the very last rays of the sun, but has its back to the sun at the harshest part of the day.

In some respects this seems a valid point, particularly so, the more northerly on the planet you live. In mid-summer, the sun can rise and set just to the right and left of north. But the same author suggest that the shelter of trees and shrubs is advantageous to the welfare of the bees; bees in a woodland or woodland edge might lose the benefit of such an arrangement.

 
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Cedar Field John 

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Amongst the many interesting suggestions in the free book found in the thread linked to below, is that the entrance should face north. The reasoning behind this is that the hive then receives the very first and the very last rays of the sun, but has its back to the sun at the harshest part of the day.

In some respects this seems a valid point, particularly so, the more northerly on the planet you live. In mid-summer, the sun can rise and set just to the right and left of north. But the same author suggest that the shelter of trees and shrubs is advantageous to the welfare of the bees; trees in a woodland or woodland edge might lose the benefit of such an arrangement.

This was my reasoning as well. The sun is behind a large row of trees in the afternoon, but receives a lot of the morning sun.
Thank you. I will read the link later.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
Amongst the many interesting suggestions in the free book found in the thread linked to below, is that the entrance should face north. The reasoning behind this is that the hive then receives the very first and the very last rays of the sun, but has its back to the sun at the harshest part of the day.

In some respects this seems a valid point, particularly so, the more northerly on the planet you live. In mid-summer, the sun can rise and set just to the right and left of north. But the same author suggest that the shelter of trees and shrubs is advantageous to the welfare of the bees; bees in a woodland or woodland edge might lose the benefit of such an arrangement.

You sure that book wasn't aimed at beekeepers in the Southern Hemishpere? up here the Sun rises in more of a South East direction, setting in the South West.
You definitely wouldn't be getting the very first and last rays of Sun facing North.
 

Curly green finger's 

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I've come to the conclusion a site with hives facing south or south east really good.. The sun rises in the east or pretty much south east and sets in the south west. ( I've just seen jbms post :rolleyes:) so Ditto!!
But more of an issue is winter sun.
They need as much as possible.
My poly hives ( nucs) definitely don't need as much winter sun.
 
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drex 

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When I started I took note of advice about direction and flight paths, and since I regularly walked to the south of the hives, had them facing North. After a couple of years, with the bees not taking a lot of notice of me walking past, and with increased confidence, I faced them all south. They are up and about a bit earlier but no significant difference in honey.
 

Beebe 

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You sure that book wasn't aimed at beekeepers in the Southern Hemishpere? up here the Sun rises in more of a South East direction, setting in the South West.
You definitely wouldn't be getting the very first and last rays of Sun facing North.
The OP., @pg22 , is in Ukraine. If you have no obstructions to view, on 21st June, in north of England, the sun sets approximately in the north-west and rises in the north east. The direction becomes more northerly in both respects, the more to the north you are located. If you look at the image and read from the key to the left, you can see that illustrated. ☀
Screenshot (50).png
 

Erichalfbee 

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The OP., @pg22 , is in Ukraine. If you have no obstructions to view, on 21st June, in north of England, the sun sets approximately in the north-west and rises in the north east. The direction becomes more northerly in both respects, the more to the north you are located. If you look at the image and read from the key to the left, you can see that illustrated. ☀
View attachment 24067
Yes I’ve noticed how far round the sun rises and sets mid summer but never really thought about it
I’d be interested what dates the sun rises in the East and sets in the West in the Ukraine?
 

Beebe 

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Yes I’ve noticed how far round the sun rises and sets mid summer but never really thought about it
I’d be interested what dates the sun rises in the East and sets in the West in the Ukraine?
Taking the snapshot on the same date and time, the sun sets slightly earlier and hence, in a slightly more westerly direction in Ukraine.Screenshot (51).png
 

Erichalfbee 

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I just wondered how many weeks you got the advantage of the sun in the entrance. That’s all.
 

Beebe 

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I just wondered how many weeks you got the advantage of the sun in the entrance. That’s all.
......that would be between approximately the Spring and Autumn equinoxes.. Before and after that, a north-facing hive won't see any direct sun; maybe we should fit our hives on turntables to ring the changes of the seasons? :willy_nilly:
 

Beebe 

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So not much advantage in pointing it north then?
Nope.☀

On the best possible day in late June in the most northerly parts of Great Britain, you get approximately eight hours daylight when the sun is in the north and ten hours when it's in the south.

What @pg22 seems to be saying is that if the hive faces north, the morning and evening sun from the north will kick-start the bees in the early and keep them working late.

In my experience, if it's daylight and warm enough, the bees will be active in any case. Fortunately, sunshine isn't essential for them; otherwise, beekeeping would be a waste of time in the UK.
 

Newbeeneil 

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From my experience I find that the direction of the entrance makes little or no difference that I can detect.
I am also trialing a floor this year that has the entrance to the brood box in the centre of floor and exits in all directions below. My theory is that this will make it more difficult for hawking hornets as bees will be able to gain access from all sides and thus avoid the hornet.
Of course the sun will always be shining onto an entrance so would this solve your dilemma?? 😄
 

Buzz Off 

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Hello,

I've got many possible locations for my very first hive, but in the best location the hive entrance would face North. Is this an absolute no no? Is it a hard and fast rule that hives must face South or Southish?

Thanks.
No its not. I have mine facing North but have a hedge about 5ft from the front so it breaks the wind. They don't get morning sun but that doesn't stop them flying gout when Temp us right. I got the same at of honey this yr as l did last Yr which didn't happen with other beekeepers near me. I dont know if facing North was the explanation. I find my bees are relatively calm also I have no reason to change.
 

Erichalfbee 

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From my experience I find that the direction of the entrance makes little or no difference that I can detect.
I am also trialing a floor this year that has the entrance to the brood box in the centre of floor and exits in all directions below. My theory is that this will make it more difficult for hawking hornets as bees will be able to gain access from all sides and thus avoid the hornet.
Of course the sun will always be shining onto an entrance so would this solve your dilemma?? 😄
Picture?
please 😀
 

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