By Dominique DeVito
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Additional info for Beekeeping: A Primer on Starting & Keeping a Hive
With this in mind, the tops of hills or their valleys are not good locations for beehives. 4. Your hive is in a place with partial sun. Ideally, it should receive dappled sunlight so that there isn’t direct sun beating down on it to overheat it or too little sun, which might keep it too cool. A shady spot can keep the hive too damp and the bees will not want to busy themselves. 5. Your hive is facing southeast. This way the bees are waking up with the sun and getting to work. WHERE ARE the FLOWERS?
When they’re busy, they’re less inclined to pay attention to you. When you’re dressed—but before you put on your helmet, veil, and gloves—get your smoker ready. Think of it as a miniature charcoal grill. You’ll want to get a fire going in the bottom with some newspaper and kindling, and once that’s going, add larger kindling or make it easy on yourself by using smoker fuel that’s available through beekeeping supply companies. They’re typically compacted cartridges of cotton fibers or wood nuggets.
If you want to know what plants are contributing to the makeup of your bees’ honey, take note of the flowering plants within five miles of you. These will of course vary by region, but prevalent sources across North America include clover, aster, fruit trees, berry bushes, goldenrod, dandelion, ragweed, mustard, cotton, and so on. Spray Warning If you live near commercial farms for fruit or cotton crops, consider what pesticides they may be using on them. Talk to the farmers there about their sprays’ toxicity to bees; doublecheck the manufacturer’s websites if possible.