Is Your Location Right for Bees?

Honeybees can be kept almost anywhere there are flowering plants that produce nectar and pollen. Choose a site for beehives that is discrete, sheltered from winds, and partially shaded. Avoid low spots in a yard where cold, damp air accumulates in winter.

Bees pollinate about one-sixth of the world’s flowering plant species and some 400 of its agricultural plants.

The best beehive location is one where your best source of pollen and nectar is within two square miles of your hive, the closer the better. Because bees actually use pollen and nectar to produce their own energy, the farther they have to travel for it, the more they have to consume themselves. In contrast, if you can place them closer to their food source, you can collect more honey.

Position your hive so the entrance faces east. This way the early morning sun will alert them to the new day.

Because flower nectar will often evaporate in the morning hours during the summer, the sooner bees are out of their hive foraging, the more honey they will produce.

The best position for a hive is where it will also have afternoon shade, shielding the hive from the summer sun. Shade, rather than sunlight, will give the bees more time to concentrate their effort on making honey, because they won’t need to work on carrying water back and forth to cool the hive.

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