Orientation of beehive entrance

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andynorton 

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I've been thinking about taking up bee keeping for years. My grandfather kept bees many years ago, and I've always been fascinated with it, but until now, not really done anything about it!
I've contacted my local bee keeping association, and I'm going to inspect a hive with the owner this coming Sunday :)
I'm not sure about the suitability of my garden for a hive. The garden is quite long and thin, and I have neighbours on one side, but on the other side is a railway line. We have a vegetable patch at the end of the garden, and I was going to potentially put the bees down there, but worried about my wife being stung whilst gardening!
I was hoping to remove a small section of fence by the railway line and position the hive so the entrance is pointing towards the railway line. The railway line is about 6' higher than my garden on a sloping embankment.
Would this be feasible? The entrance would be facing west. Would this tend to keep the bees flight path away from the veg patch and away from the neighbours? How close can you get to the front/back/sides of a hive before the bees feel threatened?
Sorry if this is rather a basic question, but don't really seem to be able to find the answer by searching the net.
 

grizzly 

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Hi andynorton

Have you spoken to your neighbours about it ?, the reason i say this is because i am going to put a nuclei in my garden this year, my garden is long and thin like yours, i was concerned the neighbours would be against it, but when i approached them they got all excited, one lady has even gone out and bought some lavender for their front and back gardens, and keeps asking me when they are coming !!!!. nowt funny as folk.

If your bees are good you should be able to sit next to them and watch them coming and going, something i do frequently and find very therapeutic. I am just careful not to bang the hive, or make rapid movements, common sense really, you will get to know your Bees and they will tell you what you can and can't do.
I wouldnt worry about removing a fence panel either, they will go up and over without any bother.
 

andynorton 

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Many thanks for your reply. I haven't spoken to the neighbours yet, until I'm sure I'm going to proceed. I hope I get the same reaction that you did!
What I'm trying to establish is how the orientation of the hive affects the bees flightpath. Will they tend to fly off in the direction the entrance is facing until they've gained height?
Will they tend to guard the front of the hive more than the back? I want to keep as much of my garden as useable as possible.
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi andynorton

Ref your question about the bees flight path from the hive.

My experience of this is, once the bee leaves the exit she will normally spiral upwards to get her bearings. Once she reaches about 20feet up she will then head off in the direction of the forage.
I have noticed that some bees do fly straight out of the exit but only for a couple of feet then up they go.
Flight path of the bees is totally relevant to where the source of food has been collected from, as they will use markers on the ground to find their way back to the hive. This means their returning flight path could cover 180degrees from the entrance. The return flight is somewhat unpredictable as I have seen them coming into land similar to an aircraft, with a steady decent, others just dive straight in from (don't know never saw them coming).
Some beekeepers erect a screen in front of the hive about 6 feet high to force the bees up so that the bees do not decide to pay the neighbours a visit.

Hope that has been of some help.:confused:

Regards;
 

victor meldrew 

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Bee houses are the exception, on leaving ,bees fly straight for about 30' before spiralling upwards, (maybe a strategy to locate markers , as immediately above the beehouse is clueless to a particular entrance?)
John
 

admin 

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Hi andynorton

Ref your question about the bees flight path from the hive.

My experience of this is, once the bee leaves the exit she will normally spiral upwards to get her bearings. Once she reaches about 20feet up she will then head off in the direction of the forage.
I have noticed that some bees do fly straight out of the exit but only for a couple of feet then up they go.
Flight path of the bees is totally relevant to where the source of food has been collected from, as they will use markers on the ground to find their way back to the hive. This means their returning flight path could cover 180degrees from the entrance. The return flight is somewhat unpredictable as I have seen them coming into land similar to an aircraft, with a steady decent, others just dive straight in from (don't know never saw them coming).
Some beekeepers erect a screen in front of the hive about 6 feet high to force the bees up so that the bees do not decide to pay the neighbours a visit.

Hope that has been of some help.:confused:

Regards;
The National geographic society have put up some funding to monitor Apis M flight patterns over the next few years,they had been doing a study on the bumble bee but have now managed to slim down the weight of the monitor enough that a honeybee can fly with it on.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Main point to consider is WATER.

Bees need water and unless you give them a regular source they can use they will use things like kids play pools gardne ponds, and drinks when people have a BBQ etc.

Apart from that they will not realy bother others.
 

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