Tuesday, March 17, 2015

BEEHIVE LOCATION PLANNING

I've spent the last few months, when weather allowed, clearing a couple of areas for the beehives.  We're going to start with two and maybe expand to four next year and six total the year after that.

It is said that beehives should face (the opening where the bees go in and out) to the Southeast or South.  It keeps the cold North wind from entering the hive and if you can get them SE facing, the morning sunrise wakes the colony and gets the bees up and doing stuff early in the day.  These face Southeast.

Beehive location
This will be the first area for bees and is my rough photoshopping attempt to show how we want it to look.  The brush here was all the way out, covering most of this picture.  It connects around to the driveway on the left side of the photo and a year ago it was impossible to walk through here and get to the driveway or the garden.  It is close to the garden and in a more open area.  This will be the first choice for location.  It allows for future expansion.  2nd Man calls this the 'park area' because, well, when it's green of course, it looks like a park with the grass and trees.  Again, a year or so ago, this was just overgrown brush and random mesquite tree saplings.

Beehive yard
Here is the beginning of the spot, an 8' x 4'.  I put the stands inside just to space it out, make sure they fit, etc.  Will put them on concrete pads and fill with mulch.  This is made using three 8' long landscape timbers, two for the long sides and then cutting one in half to gain two pieces, one for each end.  

There is another spot behind the garden that would be perfect for hives, it's big, and open and long and rectangular shaped.  But it is totally visible to anyone on the other side of the fence on the neighboring property.  In fact, it would be visible for several acres beyond that.  We've read that you shouldn't really make your hives that visible to just anyone roaming around...why?

Because bee rustling is an actual thing!  Who knew?

The location above is behind enough trees on the side that faces the other property so they will be discrete and out of view of anyone outside the property lines...as it should be.

We've been busy buying beekeeping supplies over the last few months, more on those in an upcoming post.  Will also show pictures of the painted hives.



Then all that will be left are the bees, and those come 4/17/2015...
...ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!


34 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

this is so exciting! if i can't have my own at least i can get my bee fix from you!

Practical Parsimony said...

This is getting exciting! One comment--you may be more sure-footed than I, and the picture may be deceiving. But, from the picture it seems I would be stepping onto the border all the time in the execution of my bee duties, stumbling around.. So, are the borders so that you will be able to avoid stepping back into the borders? Maybe I cannot see from here? lol...I cannot wait to see you in full bee gear.

donna baker said...

I used to step on bees daily in my yard as a child. They were so painful back then that I am much too afraid to do the hive thing now. I'd love to buy some honey from you though. Mesquite or cactus, or perhaps bluebonnet. Yes, bluebonnet. That's the kind I want.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Bee rustling is a thing? That would take some itty bitty ropes and teeny tiny lassos!

Seriously, I'm excited to see your progress with this... we're not allowed to keep bees (or chickens) in our city anymore, so will have to beekeep vicariously.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Bee rustling, whoever would have thought!! This is just so exciting, you are going to love this experience. Our two hives gave us more honey than we could ever have imagined and it was an interesting day when I had to collect our new Queen from the Post Office (the old one died) and the package had DANGER DANGER written all over it. We lived directly across the road from the native Botanical Gardens so need I say more about the incredible flavour of the honey. :)

Elephant's Child said...

How very, very exciting.
I have developed a sensitivity to bee stings (blow up like a barrage balloon) but am fascinating by the whole process.
Let the count down to the arrival of your bees begin...

FionaG said...

It is very exciting news. When I started reading I thought, how strange to have the entrance facing where the cold wind blows! I hadn't really thought about the fact that your cold wind comes north and ours comes south. A few years back we had an incident in the area where someone had poisoned a someones bees. They sprayed poison over 740 hives (http://www.smh.com.au/environment/beekeepers-stung-by-poison-20120619-20lns.html). So having yours hidden is a good idea, not that anyone would do that to you. A neighbour has two hives and he has that much honey, he gives heaps away so perhaps wait and see if you need any more than two.

JW said...

Not surprised to learn of bee rustlin' - unfortunately. Wanted to mention your bee hive graphic with the farm name is adorable!!

Leigh said...

Bee rustling? Brave souls! We're planning one hive this spring but already decided it would be hidden! By chance are you getting Warre hives? (from the looks of your very nicely photoshopped image)

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Our ten hives are in our front garden, which is bordered by the main road through our village, for all to see. We often have an audience of villagers when handling the hives. They particularly enjoy watching us collect swarms from our trees. It looks like you have trees around for yours to choose from, which means that you will probably be able to collect your swarms and not loose them. In a good year you might increase your hive numbers with your own swarms.
Exciting times for you.
Gill

Alison said...

All of this anticipation is quite fun! Bluebonnet honey sounds interesting, as does cactus and mesquite...now I'm curious to see what you get.

I have heard of bee rustling! There's a restaurant in Houston we visited about ten years ago (ish) who's owner used her own honey but she would never tell her employees where they were for fear of them being stolen.

Sandy said...

1st Man,

Great placement location for your first hives. Count down till ordering your bee's. Will you be planting flowers to attract more bee's to your farms location?

Pam said...

Beautiful! Your place is coming together so nicely! :) BTW, have you seen these: http://www.honeyflow.com/ Such a nice idea! Enjoy! :)

Bonnie said...

I was rustled last year. It happens. We have a place in a small rural town and our bee yard was tucked away at the back corner of an acre but someone came in while we were away for the weekdays. On the weekend we discovered that they had struck. Good luck with your bees. It's an exciting and fun hobby. Not cheap but fun.

Anonymous said...

this is so exciting ... loving every step. thanks for taking us along on the journey. i have a cousin who keeps bees, and their honey keeps my arthritis at bay, better than other "homegrown" honey here that i've tried. i've always wondered whether it has something to do with his bees foraging on the land i grew up on. the circle of life ...
suz in ohio

1st Man said...

There you go! And hey, if I get stung you won't get hurt! Ha!!

1st Man said...

You know you bring up a valid point. Thanks, I will have to consider that. I could easily get a couple more and make it a bit deeper to be able to step around in. The photo is slightly deceiving but I do need to check that out in person this weekend. Thanks for that!

1st Man said...

You know, we've talked about honey selling at some point. Mesquite honey will be the majority I would presume, but of course there are those thousands of wildflowers all over the place. :-)

1st Man said...

I love the way you think ha. Too funny!! And it would take time huh? ;-)

That's too bad about the bees and chickens. Cities can be so shortsighted when it comes to things like that.

1st Man said...

DANGER DANGER, I love that. I bet the post office was nervous and anxious for you to get there and pick it up, ha.

Across from Botanical Gardens? WOW!!! I bet that is some GOOD honey! Yeah, we're hoping the hives produce a lot of honey for us. Stay tuned! :-)

1st Man said...

The countdown is beginning!! Thanks, I will share all the moments.

1st Man said...

That's crazy that someone did that.. Wow. That's so wrong and sad. I'm glad they are out of sight of anyone on the other properties. That's something we wanted to make sure of.

Yes, the hives will be waiting for the first year to see what our total honey haul will be. Too much honey could be a problem too, ha.

P.S. Love the whole North / South thing, that's so neat.

1st Man said...

Aw, thanks for noticing. I found some public domain clip art and aged it in an editing program and did some other editing and then put the farm name. Heck it might make a good honey label, ha.

1st Man said...

Yeah, bee rustling is a crazy thought that would require some brave thieves. Of course, if they got stung a few times that's not a bad thing either, ha.

No, I didn't do Warre. I found the image on the internet and it fit the white that ours would be and were the right size to use, ha. We got English Garden hives....standard Langstroth with a peaked, copper roof.

Here is the link to when I posted about them with more information:

http://twomenandalittlefarm.blogspot.com/2014/12/we-have-hives.html

Yay for you! We'll be doing it at the same time. Can't wait to see yours as well!!

1st Man said...

Wow!! TEN hives? How much honey do you get? I bet a LOT, ha.

That's so neat that people come to watch. I think that's a great thing, it helps people learn and might even inspire a few.

yes, we have lots of trees around the hives and the whole property. I thought about that if they swarmed at least they'd probably not go far.

Thanks!!! Fingers crossed!

1st Man said...

I think the bluebonnet would be more just 'wildflower' honey, with a mixture. Mesquite honey is supposed to be very good (people have to get BBQ out of their heads, ha, it's the mesquite flower that they use and it's a sweet flower).

You know that Z restaurant here in the neighborhood had some bee rustling if I recall correctly.

Shame that people have to be so secretive for something so neat.

1st Man said...

Yes, more flowering stuff is coming. Though bees do travel put to 2 miles from their hive to forage and within 2 miles around the farm are TONS of wildflowers and such. But definitely will be planting more flowers. Color for us, pollen for them, ha.

1st Man said...

Slow but sure. This will be a fun (hopefully, ha) experience.

Yes, I've seen those they are very neat. I'm on the fence a bit about them, seems like people should learn about bees and caring for them first and I wonder how many will take the time to do that with this. That being said, pretty amazing and ingenious invention huh?

1st Man said...

WOW ! Really? That's crazy!! We are definitely rural but the property is secure with 2nd Family at the front and the sides are far away from the bee area.

Oh, you are so right about the expense. It's definitely not cheap, at least initially, the suit the tools the hives the bees, etc.

Thanks for the good wishes, fingers crossed!!!

1st Man said...

Thank you for commenting!! I've heard about arthritis and honey, very interesting to hear some firsthand experience. Hey, I truly believe there is something about being connected to nature, to land we grew up on, doing something our ancestors did, who knows. Truly the circle of life as you said!!

Thanks!!

Pam said...

and I totally agree 1st Man! :)

Travel said...

I grew up on a bee farm, you will have a lot of amazing moments with bees.

1st Man said...

Wow, thanks for those words of support. Growing up on a bee farm I bet was definitely an experience. Thanks for stopping by!!

Leigh said...

I have never seen the English Garden Hive; beautifully charming, especially with that copper roof. We put our hive together today. Kinda wish I could have gotten two, but this was best for the budget. Bees coming next month - from Texas!