Location is very important for a hive. If you don’t put your hive in a proper location, it can leave your bees vulnerable to all sorts of problems.
The first thing to focus on is sunlight. Bees are active during the day time. The sooner the sun can hit them, the sooner the bees can wake up and get to working. Put the bees in a location that faces eastward and has a clear view of the rising sun.
If you can try to have some cover on the west side of the hive. The afternoon sun can get a little warm on the bees. They can handle the slightly warmer temperatures, but they have to do more water collection to regulate the hive temperature. Placing them with some trees or bushes on the west side will assist with this. This also helps with prevailing winds and can keep the hive protected from storms and cold during the winter. Don’t place them in too much shade though. I have found that if a hive is too cool, it causes the pests to thrive. They don’t seem to like it when the hive is too warm, but the bees do fine. So I would favor a slightly sunnier spot than a slightly shadier spot.
Place the hive a little out of the main traffic areas. As long as you don’t get too close to the hive it won’t be a problem. But some days the bees can be grumpy and you don’t want them attacking you on those bad days.
A location where grass growth is slow or minimal is ideal. You don’t want to have to mow or trim grass around them all the time. It is inconvenient, and they don’t seem to enjoy the noise. Wear your protective equipment when doing lawn care around them. Slow grass growth keeps you from having to disturb them often.
Put the hive up on a stand. You don’t want to have to bend over to inspect. Make sure the bottom remains clear so they have good ventilation. This also keeps the hive off the wet and cold ground. And pests can’t crawl into the hive as easily.
You don’t need to worry about proximity to flowers. Bees will fly miles looking for nectar and pollen. The bees will have no trouble finding their food. Having some easy access to water is important for the bees though. You don’t want them wasting energy traveling to get water.
Hopefully this narrows down an ideal location for your beehives. If you see your bees are not doing too well, don’t be afraid to move the hive. It will do just fine. Keep experimenting and don’t be afraid to break these guidelines. All hives are different. Pay attention to what the hive is needing. You will learn the more time you spend beekeeping!