Back­yard bee­keep­ing

Element - - Gardening -

I have hives on rooftops, bal­conies, pa­tios, car­port roofs and nes­tled in many an ur­ban gar­den. Of­ten vis­i­tors do not even know they are there.

Bees do very well in ur­ban ar­eas but the most im­por­tant as­pect is to po­si­tion the hive in an area where the bee’s flight path does not come in con­tact with the pub­lic. The flight path is the stream of bees which are con­stantly com­ing and go­ing from the hive’s en­trance.

Once bees leave the hive they quickly dis­perse in all di­rec­tions as they go about their busy business of for­ag­ing.

The se­cret to good hive place­ment is to pro­vide what the bees re­quire and to also en­cour­age them to get up high into the air quickly. Ahive is best placed so it faces north­east so it en­joys morn­ing sun.

Avoid damp, dark places such as gul­lies and un­der large trees. Pro­vide some pro­tec­tion from the pre­vail­ing winds. To en­cour­age the bees to fly high, place the hive 3min front of a tall hedge or fence or wall. This will en­cour­age the bees to fly high when­they leave the hive.

Make sure that when­they leave the hive they do not pass over neigh­bours’ clothes­lines or parked cars or else they could get splat­tered in bee poo. This is lit­tle drops of hard, sticky, orange stuff.

Fi­nally, pro­vide your own­wa­ter source for your bees as they do re­quire a large amount of wa­ter on hot days and they could de­cide to get that from your neigh­bour’s pool.

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