I thought I read somewhere that you should try to have the front of the hive always towards the SOUTH.  Is that true or are there any benefits from doing that?

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Frank, This has to do with the sun hitting the entrance early in the day. I believe that this has to do more with the northern states due to the cold weather. My hives face south, east and west.....no north. I also use techniques to prevent drifting.

What's drifting

Have two hives set up ready to go.... just waiting for bees to arrive (I'll pick up in Miami) in April

One is currently facing South, the other, about 50 feet away is facing Southeast

I read new hives should initially not be placed next to each other, but can me moved (closer) over time

Can't wait to get bees.... everything is in place (I hope).

Doing a lot of reading and watching Youtube videos in the meantime

Italian bees have a habit of drifting. They end up in another hive that is not the original hive. That is why it suggested not to line your hives in a row.

Frank, as Angie, says direction is not an issue! Just a sunny not to wet spot. YouTube is fine but hands on is netter! Workshop coming up go to it! Bees from !iami? Any not closer to your home lots of pbcbeekeepers have queens good luck!

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