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Repwoc 

Drone Bee
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I have been offered two out apiary sites where I would like to put hives in the spring.

Both sites are in fields where there will be sheep grazing.

Do sheep get on OK with bees? And vice-versa?

Is it necessary to protect the hives with a fence? Or will the sheep leave them alone?

Any and all advice appreciated.

Thanks
Paul
 

admin 

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Sheep like a post to scratch on and a hive is ideal.
I kept a few hives in a field of sheep once but got fedup treading in sheep poo.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Bee's and sheep get on fine,as long as you put up a good stock fence round your hives. Beware sheep poo,can be very slippery,and not very nice when its on yer wellies when you put your boiler suit on.
 
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Sheep will - as Admin said, rub up against the hives and therefore you run the risk of them pushing them over, also younger lambs would be quite likely to jump on top of them, they do so love to play king of the castle.

Electric fencing is one of the best and most convenient ways of protecting your hives, you may find they are already kept in the field with electric fencing - most sheep are as they are expert escapers. In which case it would be reasonably cheap for you to buy some fence stakes and wire and connect to the supply already there, saves buying an energiser and battery.

Sheep poo is another problem, a pair of wellies kept especially for that field gets round that one nicely, sheep poo does tread nicely into a carpet and is not to be recommended :hat:

Frisbee
 

grizzly 

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There you go Paul, a fence to keep the woolies out is an absolute must. I am waiting for one to go up before i move some hives there in spring.
 

hedgerow pete 

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heathers spot on get an electric fence on the go.

If anyone wants a laugh many years ago we took my 5 year old nephew on a walk where we lived, after several steps into the fields we were to walk in , he pointed out to us the the stupid farmer had yet to clean up the sheep poo with his poopa scoopa and that was naughty, out of the mouths of babys as they say, he was also the one that when told we were going for another walk one day anounced that he would rather get the bus
 
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heathers spot on get an electric fence on the go.
Errrrr, didn't realise I'd changed my name..........

Electric fencing is one of the best and most convenient ways of protecting your hives, you may find they are already kept in the field with electric fencing - most sheep are as they are expert escapers. In which case it would be reasonably cheap for you to buy some fence stakes and wire and connect to the supply already there, saves buying an energiser and battery.
Frisbee
 

Repwoc 

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OK thanks everyone that's pretty clear.

Electric sounds easiest to install physically however there is no existing electric fence to hook into and both sites are some distance from mains electricity supplies (AFAIK). So it looks like I'll have to sort out some stock fencing.

Paul
 
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OK thanks everyone that's pretty clear.

Electric sounds easiest to install physically however there is no existing electric fence to hook into and both sites are some distance from mains electricity supplies (AFAIK). So it looks like I'll have to sort out some stock fencing.

Paul


A lot of electric fencing is run off 12v. Shame there's not something there already. You could probably set yourself up with fence posts, tape, energiser and battery for under £200, It sounds a lot, but is completely flexible and will last a lifetime and keep out cattle and horses too if you changed sites. The posts and tape buying a minimum amount will cover two sites but would need another energiser and battery.

Frisbee
 

oliver90owner 

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Paul,

last a lifetime

Until the low-life pinch both your fencer unit and your bees. My fencer cost me about two quid as it didn't work. One new transistor at about 60p (or less in those days) fixed it.

If the farmer runs a lot of sheep, (s)he may have, at most times, surplus sheep hurdles (no, they are not for the sheep to practise jumping!!).

Pushing them over can easily be overcome by a couple of stakes (no, not steaks, for the t*****s) and a strap or two.

The whole thing may not be as simple as plonking down one hive. How many? permanent hive stands? access? forage? expansion?

If it were one hive I would find a place around the perimeter which would have most of the attributes I required. Sheep and bees can co-exist without interference from either, but best to take precautions.

Regards, RAB
 

Repwoc 

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Until the low-life pinch both your fencer unit and your bees.
Got to admit security is a worry. These will be my first hives not in the relative safety of my back garden. I did wonder, since errecting a fence is necessary, if a more substantial 'cage' fabricated from steel bars such as is sold for dog runs would be appropriate. 6' high anchored into the ground. Padlocked door. Perhaps electrified with the high voltage low current sheep fence type of electric as well.

I realise nothing like this will stop the determined thief, but it may deter opportunists.

The whole thing may not be as simple as plonking down one hive. How many? permanent hive stands? access? forage? expansion?
If I can get the nucs, I hope to have upto 7 hives at each location eventually. Both are rural with mixed pasture and arable farming in the localities. One is close to the coast and a golf course. Other is further inland; old orchard with mature fruit trees and other mixed woodland nearby. Plenty of water available at both sites. Will probably stand the hives on concrete blocks or perhaps on fence posts supported on concrete blocks.

Neither of the land owners actually own any sheep. At one of the sites the owner 'lets' the local farmer graze some sheep (I think to keep the grass down mostly). I may be able to persuade him to just let it grow wild instead of giving it to the sheep, so might not need a fence there. I could plant some bee-friendly flowers instead - probably ~1/3 acre only. At the other location the owner intends to let the grazing next year.

Paul
 

teignbee 

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I have had my two hives in a field full of sheep this year. I just put up some stock fencing,as in picture, had no problems at all.
 

Repwoc 

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Thanks for the picture teignbee. Do you have a gate as well in the part of the fence off-picture?
Paul
 

Black Comb 

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If you haven't a gate an easy way to make one is an old pallet with 3 lots of bindertwine as the hinges. Works for me.

I would post a pic but guess what, it's raining!
 

Repwoc 

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Where abouts in Cumbria are you Peter? I was brought up in Carlisle - parents still live there, brother lives in Gosforth - the news pictures look aweful.

Paul
 

Black Comb 

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I'm in the south and have just missed all this.
Rivers are pretty full though.
Hive 2 (i.e. a field) was sodden all round and the small stream had overflowed to edge of apiary.
Hive is on a stand so had plenty of space.

I used to go to that nightclub in Carlisle - can't even remember it's name now.
 

teignbee 

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Hi Repwoc, no,i dont have a gate,i just step over the fence in the corner. All right if you have long legs. A gate would be a bit easier,i might add one next season.
 

SER 

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I keep a few hives in the corner of a field with sheep, as you can see from the photo its well fenced off so there is no problem but I would not trust the sheep in and around the hives.

The sites I have sorted for next year are in fields with cattle, luckly the hedge lines are already fenced with electric so as previously stated a few extra stakes and some more wire and there'll be no problem.
 

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