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Hives in the shade

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Frithgar 

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I did tag this question on the end of another thread but wanted to ask in a new thread to get more opinions.

I have two of my hives that are in the shade up until around 10:30 am through the summer. I could move them although it would mean they are in shade after about 5:30 pm. Which is better? Does having morning shade on a hive hold it back at all?
I need to make a decision in the next few months as I intend to move the hives before spring if they need moving.
Thanks in advance
Frith
 

oliver90owner 

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I would think warming up is a little more important than cooling down. The foraging bees out later will be in a sunnier location than the hive maybe. In the cool of the morning they will all be at home. Having said that, some forage produces nectar at different times of the day, so it may not even be that important.

Most books advise a sunny aspect for the morning. I don't think I have read anywhere where they advocate specifically putting bees in the shade early in the day!

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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I like mine to have daylight all day.

If I had to make your choice I would do what you already have done which is to give them evening sun. That will help them to dry nectar as they move nectar around in the evening and fan to dry it off.

PH
 

Mike a 

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I have my colony entrances facing all directions and as far as I can tell (Unscientifically) it makes little difference. As by the time it warms up enough for the nectar to flow all my colonies are very active, but in the evening those with the sun on them are still very active compared with those in the shade.
 
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I agree with Mike a, and this is what I have generally read. Within any single apiary there is no difference between hives facing in different directions. The bees with entrances facing the sun do seem to be more active earlier in the day but I think beekeepers can fall into the trap of thinking these colonies will do better whereas evidence of honey crops suggests all the colonies will be about the same.

I suspect it may be north facing hives may be more sheltered from prevailing winds so any loss from being in the shade is compensated by the shelter.

I think of much more importance is the aspect and position of the apiary itself.
 

Poly Hive 

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I agree Rooftops.

I was privileged to have a tour round a large bee farms winter sites, and some of them just amazed me.

One was in a pine wood, so what price dripping, and I was assured it was one of their best sites, and the other one was on top of a hill, with stone dykes on either side with the hives on the verge between the road and wall.

Neither were sites I would have ever considered, yet they were the two best ones they had.

Which in turn takes me back to the only way to check out a site is to put bees on it.

PH
 

Hombre 

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. . . the other one was on top of a hill, with stone dykes on either side with the hives on the verge between the road and wall.
So no snow ploughs operating there then . . . fortunately.
 

the naked beekeeper 

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I have/help manage three apiaries heavily in the shade.
Two are in a valley and in a wood.
The other is just in a wood.
Why are they in the shade?
Well....it was either have them sunny and risk a) livestock knocking them over and b) the public being able to see them
or have them in the shade where they are safe and secure and undisturbed.
I chose the latter and they are absolutely fine.
 

beebreeder 

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The original question was about bees in shade, I have bees or rather only one colony now that are sheltered by a hedge that has grown so high the bees don't get out till 3 in the afternoon, useless, no honey they just survived, left one there to keep the farmer happy. Probably move them next year, to many footpaths on the farm and put with right to roam and my vehicle flattening the grass they all thought it was a footpath, right past the hives LOL
 

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