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Show me the honey 

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What’s do people think the best ways to get out apiaries currently on a friends land but looking to find another but unsure how to go about it
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
I usually get phonecalls asking me can I put bees on their land.
 

Amari 

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What’s do people think the best ways to get out apiaries currently on a friends land but looking to find another but unsure how to go about it
I found my first apiary by advertising in the parish magazine. Now, having lived here for 20 years I know the terrain and and most of the land owners so I email them or knock on their door.
 

ericbeaumont 

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Essentials: access, security, forage (in any order).

Get a broad idea from Google Earth and an OS Explorer map then walk the dog to establish detail. Avoid choosing a spot in view from roads and near public rights of way: your apiary must be hidden, perhaps by a thicket or a treeline. Paint hives dark green (and the roofs). Aim for motor access as close as you can to the bees.

Talk to farmers or landowners; I found a Surrey apiary after Nigel Pringle gave me a heather tip; followed it by asking bar staff whether farmers drank in the pub; met a few over a pint and a name was mentioned; did a bit of knocking on doors and talking to strangers and eventually met a lovely lady who talked about this and that in her back garden. I knew I was in with a chance because she had a Massey Ferguson 35 in her drive. Something worked because after ten minutes she smiled at me and said I suppose you want to put bees in my field. As the field was within 100 yards of miles of heather...

Forage can be estimated - woods and gardens - but try for three years or so before moving on; farmers are your friends and rotate crops (though in North Essex they put borage on the same fields year after glorious year).

When you knock on a door make sure that you've chosen your spot, otherwise it may be chosen for you and be sub-optimal (although always look at the farmer's other options). Get keys and ask for 24-hour access; agree to give honey. Act the competent professional even though you may be an amateur: I've missed out because a previous beekeeper was a nuisance.
 

Newbeeneil 

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Eric's approach sounds brilliant and extremely thorough.
I did it completely differently but luckily it worked! I asked on the local Facebook page if anyone in the area was interested in hosting 2 or 3 hives in the corner of a field, edge of wood, orchard or end of a large garden?
Within an hour I had 5 offers and with 24hrs I had over 25! I sorted out the possibles and visited 5. In the end I put 2 hives in very large garden, the owners love the hives being there and are now planting a wildflower meadow. The hives are pretty productive but I have little to sell to the shop I originally wanted to supply as the garden owners buy about 50% of the honey for friends, relations and business contacts. (I now print special labels for them 😀)
 

Drewdrew 

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Go on Facebook and find your local / regional farmers group.

Ask in there. Have seen a few people ask in the Framers South East groups, and get new apiaries.
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
FB/ People you know/door knocking/Association if you're in one / also attending fayres when your association is invited to put up a stall. All been successful for me. Have 6 new sites waiting for lockdown to pass.

I found it helps enormously if you have a clear idea of what you want from a site when you reach out, as often, landowners don't have a clue what makes a good out apiary. Also make sure you know the four basic compass headings where you're offered. Also, don't be afraid to say no! If it doesn't meet your criteria then its never going to work. Moving hives in summer is a challenge even for the most able of us.

As a starter my non negotiable requirements are:

1. Away from public footpaths, roads etc and where they can be seen by the grockles tresspassing.
2. Must have vehicular access year round. My definition is ideally drive up to hives but if not, within 10m.
3. Away from all livestock by being fenced off.
4. South facing with some shade. I've found my bee's get angry having rain dripping onto the roof under trees.
5. Rent is 1lb per hive per year
6. ability to come and go when necessary day and night
7. The minimum number of hives is up to you
8. Food. If there's no nectar or pollen it doesn't matter how good a site it is........ it's toast!
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
It's the going rate and noone has ever complained, especially as often they get a few 'extras' thrown in. a few years ago I had to enter into a formal agreement for one of my apiaries (too many armchair lawyers in my gun club I'm afraid) I had no input whatsoever in drafting the agreement but the 'rent' they suggested was......

One pot of honey per hive per year
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
Its the going rate since the beginning of time. I think its widely accepted having bees pollinate can increase yields significantly and I don't ask to be paid for that.

Now before I'm sent to the tower, I deliberately choose NOT to agree more as I do not wish to see another hobby of mine go to the dogs over money/honey, its the same thing. As an example, most country sports requiring access to land has nothing to do with mngt of the land its literally a race to see who can pay the most to secure the rights to do it. So what, when you're paying thousands for "rights" the mngt bit is the first that goes to hell in a cocked hat. If someone or a group pays thousands you can bet your a** they will take the initial years rent and the next years, all in year one. I've seen it done so I know.

My landlords all benefit from my bee's and do I give a little more yes I do, in many ways but the AGREEMENT will always only say 1lb/per hive per year.

As another example, I control the vermin on a number of farms and I refuse to pay for the privilege. I know plenty of times where some git goes and offers large amounts of money to shoot rats, jeez rats!!! then BAM old farmy boy now wants paying if I am to stay. So all you that think I'm being stingy think again, it leaves a very bitter taste when your landlord says your not welcome anymore and asks you to leave overnight cos someone new is coming in who's been willing to pay more. And so it begins...........
 

Swn58 

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My newest apiary came about as a result working out what I needed. In order of importance, it had to be secure, so well hidden, preferably off road. It had to contain varied forage for the bees. For me that meant looking at maps and exploring areas that looked interesting. I look for good trees and hedgerows, with a good all year variety of species. It helps that I used to be a gardener and landscaper for a living, so I have reasonable plant knowledge. I like there to be some human habitation reasonably close. This is because there will be gardens, with a large range of forage available, when maybe more 'natural' forage is finished. The apiary site, in this case, had to be infinitely expandable as well.
I found the area, googled as much information as possible, then wrote to the landowners. I really believe that the tone of any letter like this is most important. I tend to look for a certain type of reader. Intelligent, quirky, generous in spirit and with a good sense of humour! My letter was put together with all that in mind. It is worth noting that people around me, upon reading the letter themselves, thought that it would never work. I sent out six letters to the area I needed, setting out what I was looking for and the advantages of having a beekeeper on their land. I received two replies. One wished me luck, as they already kept bees and the other wrote back in exactly the tone that I was looking for; friendly, excited and open.
I went to a meeting with loads of honey and the promise of more to come from their land! I was given a spinney to keep the bees in. It is totally perfect, in every way, for my needs. In the future I will be helping their crops, expanding my colonies and supplying more honey than they could ever want!
 

The Poot 

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My newest apiary came about as a result working out what I needed. In order of importance, it had to be secure, so well hidden, preferably off road. It had to contain varied forage for the bees. For me that meant looking at maps and exploring areas that looked interesting. I look for good trees and hedgerows, with a good all year variety of species. It helps that I used to be a gardener and landscaper for a living, so I have reasonable plant knowledge. I like there to be some human habitation reasonably close. This is because there will be gardens, with a large range of forage available, when maybe more 'natural' forage is finished. The apiary site, in this case, had to be infinitely expandable as well.
I found the area, googled as much information as possible, then wrote to the landowners. I really believe that the tone of any letter like this is most important. I tend to look for a certain type of reader. Intelligent, quirky, generous in spirit and with a good sense of humour! My letter was put together with all that in mind. It is worth noting that people around me, upon reading the letter themselves, thought that it would never work. I sent out six letters to the area I needed, setting out what I was looking for and the advantages of having a beekeeper on their land. I received two replies. One wished me luck, as they already kept bees and the other wrote back in exactly the tone that I was looking for; friendly, excited and open.
I went to a meeting with loads of honey and the promise of more to come from their land! I was given a spinney to keep the bees in. It is totally perfect, in every way, for my needs. In the future I will be helping their crops, expanding my colonies and supplying more honey than they could ever want!
Nice one👍
 

ericbeaumont 

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I like there to be some human habitation reasonably close. This is because there will be gardens, with a large range of forage available, when maybe more 'natural' forage is finished.
I agree, combination forage prevents all eggs lying in one basket. A good balance is farmland with woodland and a bit of urban garden thrown in; specialist crops - heather, borage, OSR - are exceptions.
 

Arfermo 

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What’s do people think the best ways to get out apiaries currently on a friends land but looking to find another but unsure how to go about it
Register on the 'Nextdoor' website and invite your 'neighbours' to offer potential sites for a few bees. You will almost certainly get offers. very simple and as local as you want without the trash of so many so-called social networking sites.
 

Swn58 

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I agree, combination forage prevents all eggs lying in one basket. A good balance is farmland with woodland and a bit of urban garden thrown in; specialist crops - heather, borage, OSR - are exceptions.
Yep, that is exactly what I was looking for. The farm does grow OSR, though it failed last year, due to flooding and beetles. I have very little experience of OSR, so the coming season could be interesting!
 

Tim.S 

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I have been fantastically lucky this year as I picked up an apiary through a good friend and it turned out that the lady who owns the site has 'connections'! Now I am getting superb sites offered to me that I don't have enough bees for. It does seem that you need to get known by the land owning fraternity but once your foot is in the door the worlds your oyster.
I like sites where there are people about. Today I dropped some honey off and had a quick peek at a manor/stables where we have 10 hives. Nobody in sight but I noticed as I drove away that a face was peering at me from the stables in the distance followed by a cheery wave. Nosy people = security!
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
Yep, that is exactly what I was looking for. The farm does grow OSR, though it failed last year, due to flooding and beetles. I have very little experience of OSR, so the coming season could be interesting!
I thought your main crop was from all the lime trees the council planted round the reign of victoria for you brummy beeks?
 

Swn58 

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I thought your main crop was from all the lime trees the council planted round the reign of victoria for you brummy beeks?
Very true. My apiary at B29 has a park full of beautiful lime trees right next to it. They were particularly good this year. At the farm apiary there is a country park with limes in it as well. When they were flowering the trees were heaving with insects including my bees!
 

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