So, one piece of advice I see a lot is that the earlier your hive entrance gets direct sunlight, the earlier your bees will get out and start foraging. This was one of my concerns with the location I chose for the hive; it’s fairly shady, and doesn’t get direct sunlight until the late morning. Even then, I’ve got the hive entrance facing South (toward an even shadier spot).
I can happily report that my bees do not seem to give two squirts of nectar about when the sun starts hitting the hive. I don’t check them every morning, but when I do, it’s usually around 7:00 or 7:30, the hive is still in full shade, and they are zipping in and out of the hive like a busy airport.
Now, whether they’d be better-off in a sunnier spot… Maybe! They seem pretty happy with where they are now, though. I might actually move them back behind the pool house, and turn the hive around. I’ll need to move a pile of dirt and rocks to do so, but it will give more space for the pond I want to build by the hive.