Where to place the apiary?
Main factors to consider
Whether it is an apiary for beekeeping as an amateur or hobbyist or a professional beekeeping, we will have to take into account some essential factors when choosing the right location for our apiary.
We have to keep in mind that the place where we install the apiary has to gather a set of characteristics that make it suitable for bees to have the right conditions to pecore, to produce honey and collect pollen, produce royal jelly, propolis, etc.
First, we will take into account the set of regulations and the legality that is essential to comply in the administrative area to which the area where we will place our apiary belongs. In this regard, you can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate your query.
The points we recommend to consider are:
- The safety of the beekeeper and third parties (people and animals): as far as possible, the existence of an apiary with bees must be reported visibly. For example, we can install posters of "BEES ATTENTION WORKING", "BEES CAUTION", "BEES ATTENTION". It is important that these signs can also indicate the beekeeper's contact telephone number and the apiary's registration number. In this way, we can demonstrate that we have properly marked the perimeter of the apiary and have correctly and without any doubt warned of the existence of the apiary. Every outsider who has entered the area where the hives are has done it under his responsibility was already advised that there was an apiary at that site. This is an important factor when responding to the responsibilities of the owner of the beekeeping operation.
In addition, in the case that the orography, local regulations and our economy allows, we can physically protect the perimeter of the entrance of the apiary by fences, gates or other allowed elements. In this way, both people and animals will not be able to access the apiary without permission. This is an option that implies a greater investment and may require permits issued by the administrative authorities of the area.
- Take into account the weather of the place: we will have to avoid those places that are too wet. In the case of being in very hot areas, the ideal would be to place the apiary in shaded areas. The possibility of using awnings to shade or "sail awnings" should be studied. In hot weather, it may be an option to value. In the case of windy areas, we will have to find places that are protected from large wind gusts (or fix the hives and their parts taking into account the wind force of the area). It would also be a good option to plant shrubs or plants that help protect hives from the wind. The bushes or plants have to be native flora and we have to be sure that we can plant them in the area, following local regulations.
- Water source that constantly regenerates: bees, like every living being, need water to live. Therefore, it is necessary to have a source of drinking water that is constantly regenerated. Keep in mind that stagnant waters may become unfit for drinking, they can become contaminated and cause diseases to bees. In another blog post we will show you how to build a water fountain for the apiary. It is important that the water source is relatively close to the apiary (no further than 200 meters) since the closer the apiary water source is, the more energies the bees will devote to collecting nectar and pollen.
- Fauna and flora of the area: if possible, we will choose the location of the apiary in an area where there is an abundance of flowers. Flowers are very important for bees as bees collect nectar and pollen from flowers. The radius of action of the bees is between 2 and 3 kilometers, therefore, it will be highly recommended that there is an abundance of flowers in your area of pecoreo. Keep in mind that the life of worker bees is directly linked to the kilometers traveled when collecting nectar and pollen (round trip flight). In times of flowering, worker bees can live only about 42 days while in times of autumn and winter they can live up to 180 days.
In addition, if we have a good flowering in the area where we have located the apiary, the bees will have a much higher yield in the production of honey, pollen, propolis, wax, etc.
- Take into account the terrain: the hives must be placed at least 20 cm above the ground. Ideally, the soil is clean, that is, without tall grass, thickets and other vegetation that hinders the flight of bees or facilitates insects such as ants and rodents to penetrate the hives. It is not recommended to use any tPesticide type to eliminate herbs, as this can harm bees. If you have to mow the grass or remove grass bushes or bushes, you must always follow the rules and laws that govern the specific area.
- The orientation of the apiary with respect to the sunrise: it is a good recommendation that we guide the apiary and the hives taking into account the sunrise. If the first rays of the sun arrive as soon as possible at the entrance of the hive (piquera) then the bees will start to work earlier (the temperature will also be a factor that the bees will take into account when starting work).
- Place each hive individually and with a stable base: whatever the method used to place the hive on the ground, the base must be stable and take into account the terrain orography. The hive placement base can be made of stone, cement, brick ... always respecting the environment and sustainability, and the regulations applicable to each area.
- Protection of hives from possible robberies or acts of vandalism: depending on how far apart the area where we have installed the apiary is, the apiary may be more or less conducive to theft. Thefts can be theft of hives, theft of honeycombs with pollen and honey, theft of bees, etc. It would be very interesting to have an apiary surveillance system, an alarm system to protect the apiary, or a GPS system to follow the thieves with the stolen material and inform the police where exactly the stolen material is.
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