have two concerns about the upcoming bee experiment, the biggest being is do we have enough pollen and nectar sources for them locally? right now we are getting some rain which is a HUGE blessing here in the high desert. With the bees not coming until late April, we will have missed the cedar pollen, the manzanita flowers, maybe even the wild rose and prickly pear flowes. Depending on the temps, the mesquite may already be in bloom, and will be about 3 weeks later latest. It has become so dry here though that we no longer have large spring blooms of mallow, mustard and four o’clocks. Last year the Yerba Santa barely bloomed, as well as little on many other native buses. Yet, I know there are some local feral bee colonies, and a couple of neighbors have some flower gardens, along with my own flowers and veggies.
My second concern is the heat. While many books talk about locating under deciduous trees for shade in the summer and sun in the winter, don’t have that option here. The spot I’ve picked should get some morning shade pretty much all year, as well as western shade all year. Mid-day sun in the summer, and if absolutely necessary can put a sun sail over it during the hottest days. In the winter the sun will be low enough to shine into this space. It will also be sheltered from the heavy winds we’ve been known to get. last year wasn’t too bad, but there have been years when the wind has blown over 40mph days on end.
The style hive I’ve picked out is deeper, considered better for cooler areas. The depth allows for longer heavier comb to form which can be a problem if it gets too hot. but it is a better style for cooler temps and that should help in this shaded area.
Anyway, with the rain, will get the heavy block out there, so if its going to settle into the wet soil, it will do so now, not later when the hive is mounted and full of bees, and it will be more difficult to relevel it.