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Covered apiary or open apiary

 When you build a new apiary, you are usually in a hurry and build an open apiary. This decision, taken quickly in order to be able to start as soon as possible, prevents the construction of a covered apiary, which nevertheless has advantages. Let's look at the pros and cons before moving on to building a covered apiary.

The open apiary

It is the classic apiary that we find in the majority.



Advantages

  • Easy to establish because you only need hive supports, possibly a hedge to protect against the winds and a barrier to limit access if you are not at home.
  • Economic, because the realization requires few materials to implement.
  • Little maintenance.
  • Good brightness especially to see the eggs in the cells.

Disadvantages

  • Impossible to work at the hives in case of rain.
  • Hives exposed to bad weather and which will age faster.
  • No shade in hot weather.
  • Soggy ground in case of heavy rain.
  • Vegetation around the hives to be eliminated in season.
  • Need to maintain the hives more often.

Covered apiary



Advantages

  • Possibility of working at the hives when it rains.
  • Hives preserved from bad weather and with a longer lifespan.
  • Protection from strong insolation in summer.
  • Possibility of placing an anti-vegetation tarpaulin and covering it with gravel or a floor.
  • Permanently dry ground.
  • Possibility of recovering water from the roof by placing a gutter.

Disadvantages

  • Higher cost of a covered apiary.
  • Time required for construction.
  • Apiary maintenance.
  • Less good luminosity unless a roof allowing partial light to pass through is provided.

So open or covered apiary?

I think it mostly depends on where you are. If the conditions are harsh, frequent rains, snow that lasts a long time ... it is better to protect your hives and colonies. Otherwise, a good site multiplex plate covered with a weight to prevent it from blowing away in the event of strong winds, is enough to protect the hives from bad weather.