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Hives and Apiaries

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    Rob McFarland

    This is the place to share info on hives and apiaries, from best practices to the pros and cons of the various hive designs. Here’s a little info to get us started:

    Where should I put my hive?

    Bees need easy access to a reliable source of water, so proximity to clean water is critical. In the urban environment, you may need to provide a water source so your bees don’t choose to drink from your neighbor’s pool. Put out a bird bath or similarly sized container and first fill it with pea gravel, a natural sponge or wine corks before you fill it with water. This will help prevent thirsty bees from drowning.

    Bees also must have access to abundant pollen and nectar within a two-mile range of their hive. The urban environment is ideal because our gardens, landscaping, and weedy areas provide plentiful forage throughout the seasons. One pound of honey is the product of 200,000 miles of bee flights and nectar gathered from five million flowers. Bees like to be in the warmth of the sun and protected from the wind. The sooner the sun hits the hive the in the morning, the sooner the bees will be out working.

    When considering a location, keep in mind your access to the hive and your ability to maneuver heavy honey-laden supers. (A full 10-frame deep weighs 90 lbs. and a full 8-frame medium is 48lbs.) You also want to make sure the hive is in a low traffic area where the bees will not be disturbed by children or animals. You can use a shade cloth barrier near the hive entrance to influence the direction of bees taking off and landing.


    Just came across a new combo hive, what do you think?

    Hybrid Hive

    ceebs bailey

    Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve been yearning for a Kenyan in my yard and this looks like the perfect combo/hybrid. Now I know what to ask Santa for.


    Looks good but how big a ladder will you need when the Langs hive has three more supers on it?. I suppose that by the time you would have that many supers you would have switched to one method or the other instead of this mixture.

    susan rudnicki

    I don’t know that the hive is engineered to accept that kind of weight–Dennis’s comment—at one end. It could be tending to tip over.


    I found that hive through the nonprofit “Baltimore Honey” – They keep all of their bees in those hives.

    Rob McFarland

    Sounds like Baltimore Honey also has some chickens. Had to pause the video to make sure my chickens weren’t at the back door.

    That hive is the turducken of bee hives, little of everything.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by Rob McFarland.
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