I haven't read it, but the guy who wrote Toward Saving the Honeybee (Gunther Hauk) spoke to our Food Not Lawns group last year. He's biodynamic and organic; his farm is in part a honeybee sanctuary. They had a least a few hives, living semi-wild in that they're finding their own places to establish colonies (dead branch on a tree, for example). So that book might be a good place to start?
Hey, all I can think of is just using plants as seasonal sun- and wind-breaks. I have my hive directly west of a white pine windbreak, and I have it located at the southern tip of the row so it gets sun in the late fall, winter, early spring. A deciduous tree would be even better, but then you don't get a windbreak in winter! Best then would be a low dwarf or hedged evergreen row 10' or more to the west (or winter windward) side and a larger deciduous tree in or near the hedge would be great for summer shade. But remember you don't want full day shade in summer, just for afternoon hours--those bees need to evaporate water off nectar! I think that native violets around the hive would be great living mulch plants to keep the tall grass from growing up and blocking the hive entrance.
As far as planting pollen and nectar plants, I personally feel that you'd have to plant so many of them to make much of a difference unless you are in a very lawn-intensive suburban area without food plants. Buckwheat honey would be another exception--you probably have to plant it to get dark buckwheat honey.
We have insectory Islands and find the bees love the perennials all spring, summer and fall. Ever bearing fruit shrubs and perennials have continual flowering.Medicinal plants like Mints and Anise Hyssop also provide a menthol mite irritant to aid the bees. The water source and medicinal plants are good for hive health.
A 'Turn-Key' Permaculture Homestead for sale in Grass Valley, CA.
Ideal for a large or extended family (or very small community),
Includes House, Apartment, Cabin, Garage, Barn, Workshop, Off-grid, Gardens, Orchard, etc...
Mike and Susan are Support Teachers of ours for the Sivananda Yoga Ashram PDC Course we offer annually and we wanted our permaculture community to learn about this before it gets posted in open listings.
It's an awesome place...!