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Amount of land required to keep bees?

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palerider 

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Hi All

I'm thinking of keeping bees and was wondering if my garden is big enough. I live in Southampton and my garden is about 80 ft long but ony 15 ft wide, I was going to put the hive about 25 ft from the end fence would I have enough 'clearance'

TIA

Mike
 

Midland Beek 

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Keep bees and you quickly realize that one colony does not really work.

Some people construct screens to get the bees flying high, but often the problems for neighbours occur when the beekeeper is actually manipulating colonies.

Try the garden. But have another location to move your bees to if you get problems.
 

biggles 

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Ask a local farmer if you can keep them on the farm they might be happy to have them.

Pete
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Yes and ??

You may locate your hive 50' from your kitchen door but as your garden is 15' wide the bees may only be 7' from your neighbours if you have adjacent neighbours that is and that can cause problems.

If you do have neighbours it is in my opinion better to get them onside and if that hurdle is cleared then the bees you keep will have to be managed well with good calm bees

Finally as with Midland Beek it will be good to have a plan B a 2nd site that you can move the bees to if they get a bit to frisky as they can from time to time.
 

shonabee 

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I reckon it depends more on the size of your neighbours gardens: can you site them so that they are well away from areas your neighbours use?
Also, I definitely agree with having a back-up location.

If you can't keep them in yout garden, then you're likely to be able to find another site; I don't think the choice would really be keep them in the garden or don't keep them at all.
 

Nellie 

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Palerider, the quick, not very helpful answer is "it depends".

Some things you should consider

1) Can you put the Hive(s) behind a shed or some fencing, hedges? The further away you can put them from the parts of the garden you want to sit out in the better. If their line of sight to the rest of your garden is blocked then even a "grumpy" colony can be less disruptive. Out of sight, out of mind seems to work both ways in my experience.

I keep my bees on my allotment,they're behind a ring of brambles and we happily work the plot maybe 2 meters away from the hives without disruption. One colony went queenless earlier in the season which made them very grumpy, at that point we simply couldn't work the plot for any length of time as the brambles weren't high/dense enough and we were continually chased off the plot.

2) How visible would the hives be to your neighbours? And do any of them have kids? You can take two approaches with neighbours, ask them or hope they don't notice. Some will be fine, others really wont be keen on the idea of bees so close to them and these are the people that'll cause you no end of problems once they realise there are beehives close by.

3) How close is where you're thinking of putting hives to parts of your neighbours' gardens that they like to use?
Opening up a beehive puts a lot of bees in the air and most of them not too happy that their home is being disturbed. If you've got neighbours the other side of the fence sat in deckchairs sipping pims while you're protected in a beesuit then that can cause problems.

You don't need a huge amount of space to site a hive. A standard national Hive is 46cmx46cm (a bit wider at the roof) so if you can make up a square from scraps of wood or garden canes, use that as a guide. Where you're thinking of putting the hives, plonk it down and make sure you can comfortably walk all around it and have space to put the same size down (typically as you inspect a hive you take off the roof and place the boxes etc that you're taking off into the roof beside you) to one side.

Also second the idea that if you do keep them in the garden that it's worth having a backup site that you can move them to in a hurry if things don't go to plan. It's more than possible to happily keep bees in the garden but bees can be tempramental.
 

palerider 

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Thanks very much to everyone for the helpful (and swift) responses. I have chatted to the neighbours which the hive would be closest to and they are very happy to have bees around - they offered to help with the bees if they could.

I like the idea of ring fencing them how close should it be?

I will also research a fallback site

Regards

Mike
 

Ewok 

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Hi Mike, you're welcome to come up & see our garden apiary. Our Garden's a little bigger than yours but you'll see the lengths that we went to.

The main thing is to have quiet bees & hone your manipulation skills before moving bees into your garden.

Manipulation skills is a case of practice at Apiary Visits at your local association (who'll have an out-apiary for emergencies) or with a mentor & quiet bees come from a good local breeder. I'll drop you a number!
 
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Manipulation skills is a case of practice at Apiary Visits at your local association

I'd love to do that, BUT despite having paid my BKA money - all I've had is a one page 'newsletter'. I know there is an apiary for my assoc. but no-one says where it is!!! Try finding anything in hidden corners of Devon...
:beatdeadhorse5:
 

SER 

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Queens59, which part of Devon are you searching for the association apiary?

Si.
 

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