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steve1958 

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After looking at the photo jezd included in one of his posts
my question is simple?

What is the maximum number of hives (give or take a few) that can be kept on one site?
 

jezd 

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Remember the image above is just an over-wintering site, I placed them at home to make things easy for this Winter season.
 

Heather 

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Our new out apiary will have 8 main hives and 4 Nucs. It is at the base of the South Downs, loads of hedgerows and with gardens within 1 mile- yet some members are showing concern at the foraging content - time will tell. But so looking forward to starting it up.:cheers2:
 

Poly Hive 

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Mile is a fair distance. However the only way to find out what a site can stand is to put some hives on it and see.

PH
 

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Mile is a fair distance. However the only way to find out what a site can stand is to put some hives on it and see.

PH
So it is. When I started to put my hives in different sites, I found that 3 fold yields between 2-3 miles is true. Even 5 fold differencies exist.

A mile is good measure when you put hives in the pasture. When you drive a car, a mile is not much along road.

You must note too that other beekeepers may have hives on proper distance.


This is the most difficult point in beekeeping, - if you have alternatives.


*************

Then I found....: I collect my hives to cottage yeard for winter. I doubled my hives from 15 to 30. I found that it become a lack of willow pollen, because in chilly weather even a half mile is too long distance to fly and return. In low temperature bees are able to get quite small pollen balls to their legs.
 
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oliver90owner 

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Heather,

Two ways (at least) to look at it. OK, above posts have covered the difficulties of putting numbers on it, but 1) if I were putting my hive(s) on a site I would want the minimum around, or near, to maximise my return - if I were just doing it for the honey. 2) At some stage there will be a point where maintenance of the colony(ies) is barely achieved - so no harvest available.

Other factors might be whether the owners of the colonies are going to remove all honey, and replace with all sugar, for a harvest; whether a permanently occupied site (some colonies moved temporarily to OSR/beans/etc.).

I nearly always move most to the forage at some point in the season. Those on OSR always have the honey nicked early (to avoid crystallisation) and might not get much more unless moved somewhere else.

That said, a couple of colonies in the garden (edge of town and within reach of a stretch of river bank) gets a fairly reasonable crop. A mile represents an area of some 800Ha which is equivalent to 100Ha per full colony. Seems a lot until you find there are another thirty sharing your patch, and some of the patch is down to mono-culture crops, and worse still arable, as in wheat, barley, etc.

I would think your out-apiary will always be questioned as to number of colonies, however few or many you have!! 'Cos if you found you would be better to move a couple of colonies who could you ask? Low yield will be blamed on colony density, regardless of state of colony etc. No win situation. But, like you said, time will tell.

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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Jim?

Every beekeeper has a choice of moving or not moving their bees, it depends on how keen they are to get a crop.

The lady that initially inspired me to keep bees had 40 hives.......................


And could not drive. She took a few supers on the bus to the rasps. And got a labour force she rounded up to move her hives for her.

It's a personal decision, not a lack of locations.

PH
 

Poly Hive 

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I have no idea what you are driving at Jim but Merry Christmas to you.

PH
 

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