NewBee Help! Where to locate my hives (to keep them out of neighbor's pool)???

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gtmylo 

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Greetings to all!

I am a new beekeeper and I am trying to determine the best place to locate my hives. There are a couple of variables/issues that are conflicting with the basic information on hive location, so I am looking for some seasoned help Smiley I have a Langstroth Hive and am building a Top Bar Hive, and I need to locate both of them somewhere on my property...

First, my land has a drop off and slope... my house and backyard is located up at the top, in the back yard are my fruit trees and various plants I want the bees to be able to find to pollinate, then the back yard drops off steeply about 35 feet down, and then gradually slopes back 800+/- feet, down a nice, wide path through the trees/woods to a stream, where I want them to get their water. I would just keep the hives in my back yard, however, my next-door neighbor has a pool. Fortunately this is semi-rural New Hampshire, and the pool is a good distance away, but from my back yard the pool is much closer than the stream, and I obviously want the bees to use the stream at the back of my property, rather than my neighbor's pool. For this reason I figure I have to locate the hives down the path in the woods, but I also want to make sure the bees will make it to my fruit trees and plants to pollinate them. It will be a straight line to the plants, but they have to fly up a good 40 feet on the way.... I assume this is OK?

I also am concerned with how far away everything is for maintenance purposes. It is not the worst hike down to the stream, and for regular checks it should be fine, but I figure carrying hives, full honey supers, etc, it will become more challenging. Fortunately, I can use my lawn tractor with the pull cart if needed, so it is not a huge issue, but I do want to determine the best location(s) closest to the house, that will still ensure the bees use the stream and not the pool.

Then there is the issue of sunlight. Right now the trees have no leaves, so I think I can find the sunnier parts of the woods, but how much shade is too much?

I am going to attach a picture with estimated distances to give you guys a better idea, there are 3 potential locations, LOC1 in my back yard I figure is out, since the pool would be the absolute closest water source (but correct me if I am wrong!), and I feel like they would never fly way down to find the stream. LOC2 and LOC3 are in the woods, with LOC2 being about half-way between my house/plants and the stream, and LOC3 being the furthest from the house, but closest to the stream. Any of the locations can support both hives, as there is good room in each.

I am eternally grateful for any input on this. Thank you all!
 

rae 

Field Bee
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One thing I can guarantee is that bees do not read maps. They will probably find another water source full quite unpleasant water, and drink from that. Generally anything with horse poo in it ensures that my bees will select that as the preferable water source. So regardless of where you put them, they will drink where they choose. If the stream is fast flowing and "splashy", then they will probably drink from puddles around that.

Similar with pollination. If your plants are desirable, the bees will find them, even if they are a mile away. Bees seem to value quantity as much as anything, so there needs to be decent clumps of whatever you want pollinated.

Sun - important. The hives should not be in a shaded location, and trees dripping on hives apparently make them grumpy.

Transport - as long as you can get a lawn tractor in, you'll be OK, but it is an important consideration. Supers are....heavy....
 

Ely 

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Put them where inpecting will be the most easiest for you. You could try providing them with a some water nearby the hive. Put a brick in a tray of water. The brick soaks up the water for the bees to land on and gather. I imagine the bees going to the pool would be more harmful for the bees with the cleaning agents used than a nuisence to the neighbour.

Although once bees decide where they want their water from it will be difficult to change their mind. Hopefully the brick in a tray of water close by the hives will encourage them
 
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itma 

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Bees like their water warm, rather than cold. So water in the sun is normally favourite. (But that pool might be heated ... )
And they are very happy to drink from moss, or a boggy place. Moving water itself isn't ... their first choice.
And they don't seem to mind smelly water. Even, it seems, hot tub chemical smelly water. It might seem that they can locate smelly water more easily ...
Oh, and many bees are reported to prefer a water supply that isn't too close to their hive. 100 feet away should be fine.
They don't need very much water, but they need a reliable supply. There when they want it.
 

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