The nucleus of Bees should be arriving in about a month, so now is a good time to test the site for the bee hive.
Our property has a reasonable sized garden for the type of house, when we moved in over 20 years ago we bordered an old orchard / horse paddock which was adjacent field, we still have a mature Apple and Pear tree in our garden from the original orchard.
Houses were built on the paddock a few years ago so their gardens now neighbour ours, the field is currently undergoing a new house build estate – so-called development!
When placing bee hives you should be considerate of neighbours, the bees will tend to approach and depart the hive on a straight flight path so direction is important. If like me you have fairly close neighbours you should ensure that the fences are higher than head height (at least 6ft), this will ensure that the bees angle of flight will take them up above head height. This should also be the plan if your garden borders a public right of way.
The image of the hive shows the angle at which the bees will enter my hive in this position, the left is a shed, over the fence in the neighbour’s garden is a large shrub area so they wont actually enter that part of their garden.If possible the hive should also face towards the rising sun to encourage them to fly in the mornings. The fences and structures will also help keep the wind factor down that can blow them off path and miss the doorway.
Flying upwards they will be into the apple tree, there is a second young apple tree over the fence. We have also planted Blackberry, Black Current, Raspberry and a Plum Tree in this area.
Within the garden we have other sources of nectar & pollen, Forsythia, Clematis ,Buddleia, rhododendron, roses and we have also planted Blueberry. Our small pond should serve as one of the water sources. Our neighbour has a garden full of flowers, so hopefully we have a great deal of local sources of food. Further a field within 1/2 Km as the crow (or bee!) flies we have farmers fields and a garden centre.
I have built a very basic stand for the hive using some old timber that I had laying around, this needs finishing, I will grind off the protruding screw threads and treat it with some wood preservative.
The height of the hive seems a little high so I may also take a bit off the legs.
The area will be cordoned off with low level fences into which I will grow fruit bushes to create a natural boundary / edge this will stop the dogs from going in and knocking the hive and provide food for both us and the bees.
Next Time…… I will be re-checking my basic equipment ready for the arrival of the nucleus of Bees.. thanks for reading.