I count myself very lucky because I have a friendly, kind and considerate farmer who puts up with my bumbling beekeeping.
This season he’s letting me build a new apiary in a small field more sheltered than my existing hives’ location. For the last two seasons I’ve been concerned that hives were struggling due to the exposed nature of their site so it’ll be interesting to see how they do at this new home.
There are plenty of guidelines for choosing an apiary; including: how much sun it gets, the amount of shade, closeness to a water supply, vehicular access and I’ve even seen people who believe that placing hives on ley-lines is beneficial. For me, however, the number one thing an apiary must have is charm.
My perfect apiary site must be somewhere I would enjoy being even if there were no bees, the sort of space that draws me to it those lazy Sunday afternoons when I could be sitting the garden with a beer and a book. Somewhere that relaxes the soul and let’s my mind rest, if may sound a bit hippy but I suspect there is a tiny hippy in all beekeepers.
This small field is a bit scruffy, but it has oodles of charm.
Circled by trees with a small pond in the middle. Not far away is a pick yourself farm and several woods so plenty of forage for the girls. It also has the other things that are important for a good apiary plenty of sun but with some shade and I can park pretty much next to the hives if a wished.
I’ve sited the hives facing the tree line which will allow people to walk pass the hives without crossing the bees’ flight paths. When I first started beekeeping I use to buy hive stands from beekeeping suppliers. They look nice but I’ve found that small fence posts and four aerated blocks makes a great stand for three hives for the same price.
After hiving some over wintered nucs I’m looking forward to spending time just tinkering around on sunny afternoons.