Choose a Location.
From the most rural areas to downtown New York, beekeepers are setting up their hives in backyards or on roof tops. Consider the location where you intend to set up.
- Make sure that your hive is easily accessible in spotted
sunlight. The sun will arouse your bees in the morning
if hive is facing southeast. If you don't have the option of placing hive in dappled sunlight, place them in a shaded area rather than in full sun. The bees will spend more time cooling the brood rather than foraging for nectar and pollen.
- Place hive on firm, dry ground with some mulch around
the base to prevent grass and weeds from blocking
its entrance. Weeds blocking the entrance will prevent bees, heavy with pollen and nectar, from landing safely. If you find weeds growing in front of the hive, do not spray to kill them! Simply cut them down when they begin to block hive entrance.
- Ensure that your hive is level with the entrance slightly
lower than the back. This will prevent moisture from being trapped inside the hive.
- Have a reliable water supply for your hive. This may include a lake, stream or a bird bath. They will need water during the summer months to keep hydrated and cool the brood by fanning water throughout the hive.
- Use a hive stand to keep your hive elevated off the ground. This will help impede rodents from robbing the hives by making the rodents prop up on the hive, exposing their belly for the bees to sting and send them scurrying away. It will also reduce ground moisture from damaging your hive.
- Use wind breaks to block prevailing winds from hitting your hives. As bees come in to land, strong gusts of wind will inhibit them from returning safely to their hive.
- If you have spotted signs of bears in your area, further measures should be taken to block off your hives. Electrical fencing is an option to prevent bears from destroying your hives.
Not every location is ideal and does require some ingenuity. You will want to paint the exterior of any wooden equipment you will be using, weeks before your bees arrive. Wood will absorb water and can warp or crack. Provide an exterior coating to help preserve the life of the wood. Use and exterior grade, laytex paint in any light color, or if you would like to keep the appearance of the wood, use a stain with a varnish. You will need to apply the coating to the outside of the wooden equipment. the bees will take care of the inside of the hive.
Setting Up The Hive.
Place your bottom board in the location you have setup for your hive. If you are using a screened bottom board, remove the Corex Sheet (this will be used when checking for Varroa Mites). Set your hive body (deep or medium) on top of the bottom board. You will only want to start with one box for the brood chamber until your bees are ready for the next super. The inner cover will go on next before closing off the hive with your top. The inner cover will separate the hive body from the hive top so that when you remove the top, you will not have to worry about the bees gluing (with propolis) it down, they would have glued down the inner cover. The inner cover will preserve the quality of the hive top.