Hives next to flood water

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fullframe45

House Bee
Joined
May 13, 2019
Messages
167
Reaction score
38
Location
lancashire
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
4 --5.
I am a bit concerned about the location of my polly hives being next to flood water.
They are on stands and on the edge of a winter wheat planted field. Last year although we did get a lot of rain and the field had quite a few flooded patches the water was away from the hives as the farmer left a 6/8 meter strip untouched between the hives and the newley sowed wheat. This year he has only left a couple of meters and with the soil being worked the water has got to within a cpl of foot from my hives . It does soak away slowly after a cpl of days and only seem to happen when we have very heavy rain and although the water is close the hive stands are out of it. I dont think it will get any worse and it is a good location in dry months . The entrances are facing away from the water into a very large and thick blackthorn hedge. It would not be an easy task to move them and i would like to leave em where they are if possible. Just wondering if it is ok to leave em as they are or look for another out site and re locate. Thank you.
 
I am a bit concerned about the location of my polly hives being next to flood water.
They are on stands and on the edge of a winter wheat planted field. Last year although we did get a lot of rain and the field had quite a few flooded patches the water was away from the hives as the farmer left a 6/8 meter strip untouched between the hives and the newley sowed wheat. This year he has only left a couple of meters and with the soil being worked the water has got to within a cpl of foot from my hives . It does soak away slowly after a cpl of days and only seem to happen when we have very heavy rain and although the water is close the hive stands are out of it. I dont think it will get any worse and it is a good location in dry months . The entrances are facing away from the water into a very large and thick blackthorn hedge. It would not be an easy task to move them and i would like to leave em where they are if possible. Just wondering if it is ok to leave em as they are or look for another out site and re locate. Thank you.
Only you can make that judgement
How secure are the stands......((mine are sunk into the ground and immoveable) and how high off the ground?
Is there is any danger they could float away?
 
By the sound of it the hives are out of the water and your only talking about a few inches of standing water, not a torrent likely to wash them away. A dry spot would obviously be preferable but as above if it works for you and there’s no access issues they should be fine.
 
For weeks my hives were In 2-3 inches of standing water. I was not worried as the stands were at least 12 inches high and all standing on paving slabs, but getting round them was not pleasant.
I have dug one small drainage channel and over the last few days all the standing water has drained away. Water in the channel is still draining.
 
Thank you bothe for replying,That makes me feel a bit more comfortable about the situation.I doubt very much that the water will ever get under the stands and they are about 2 foot off the ground anyways. The fields i have acess to are all surrounded with trees and established thick hedges and there are better locations but in the wet season i cannot use the farm track with my old van. So its either stick it out or look for a new apiary site. Thank you again.
 
Thank you bothe for replying,That makes me feel a bit more comfortable about the situation.I doubt very much that the water will ever get under the stands and they are about 2 foot off the ground anyways. The fields i have acess to are all surrounded with trees and established thick hedges and there are better locations but in the wet season i cannot use the farm track with my old van. So its either stick it out or look for a new apiary site. Thank you again.
What do you think of the idea of building a hive stand which is supported by metal stakes? I am thinking of the kind of stakes which have a cross section like the letter "Y", and can be used to build a wire fence, or which can be inserted into the fence line when the wooden posts are far apart. In Australia, these are called star pickets. Providing the soil is firm, and the stakes are driven sufficiently deep, they should be able to support a hive without problems.
 
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What do you think of the idea of building a hive stand which is supported by metal stakes? I am thinking of the kind of stakes which have a cross section like the letter "Y", and can be used to build a wire fence, or which can be inserted into the fence line when the wooden posts are far apart. In Australia, these are called star pickets. Providing the soil is firm, and the stakes are driven sufficiently deep, they should be able to support a hive without problems.
Not keen on metal
My hive stands are based on wooden fence posts hammered into the ground.
 
I would move them whilst you can still get to them comfortably rather than having to move them in a crisis.
 
Not keen on metal
My hive stands are based on wooden fence posts hammered into the ground.
I understand, and can agree with your response, Dani. Thankyou for your comment. I was thinking of how easy or difficult the solution might be. Metal stakes can be driven in easily, but have the potential to be hazardous in the future if the hive is not maintained. Wooden posts can be very effective, and environmentally more suitable, but not quite as easily installed.
Perhaps the real issue is the location of the hive stand, which should be agreeable to both the bees AND the beekeeper.
 
I would move them whilst you can still get to them comfortably rather than having to move them in a crisis.

I think that is the best advice here, but the alternative would be to raise their height above the ground for the duration of the winter. I would probably place the hives on a stack of dense concrete blocks laid on their sides in a criss-cross, Jenga fashion, until they were sufficiently high that the water was very unlikely to affect them.
 
A large polystyrene pontoon and a warp and anchor. Remember to make the warp 5 times the length of the maximum depth of water :)
 
There was a video years ago with a French barge owner who had hives on deck.
 
I had 2 Abelo polyhives that spent a considerable amount of time in the spring in a flooded field. Both on 12" stands on paving slabs with the water a couple of inches deep. It didn't seem to do the bees any harm. First time I saw them like this I thought it would be a disaster, but in the end, the only problem was access, solved by wearing wellies
 

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