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How much space will my beehives need?

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RoyCropper 

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Hi,

I've just signed up for a beekeeping course and hope to get some bees next year at the end.

At the moment I'm trying to suss out the best place in the garden to put a couple of hives. The area is quite large but there isn't any part of it where we don't go e.g to the greenhouse, veg patch, compost bins, washing line etc.

My question is how far away do I need to keep from the bees when I am going about my normal gardening. Will they get annoyed if I wander past on a regular basis? Do I need to keep a certain distance away except when actually working on the hives? What about mowing the grass anywhere near them - will they go mad!?!bee-smillie

Thanks for any advice

Roy
 
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margob99 

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My impression, from having bees in our garden the past 14 months, is that as long as you don't cross their flight path (they have an incredibly "fixed" flight path, once they're in place and have found their way around the joint) you could probably regularly go within 4 or 5metres. But a lot depends on the temperament of your bees. Last year my bees were incredibly chilled, and didn't even object to a large hairy dog come brushing past their entrance. But this year, we had nasty "followers" all over the place. As a result we are moving the bees out of my garden, to somewhere else (also because swarming season can be a bit of an imposition on your neighbours, if you're a newbie and you let them slip past your newly-acquired swarm-control attempts).

Never forget bees can be dangerous; treat them with respect. Sometimes, for newbies, that means considering somewhere other than your own garden as a site for your first beehive. At least until your beekeeping skills are proficient enough for you to safely manage them in the confinements of a suburban garden.

It may seem hard, and the loss of a dream (bees at the bottom of your garden), but I speak from bitter experience
 

Der Alte Fritz 

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Rye, East Sussex
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Hi,

I've just signed up for a beekeeping course and hope to get some bees next year at the end.

At the moment I'm trying to suss out the best place in the garden to put a couple of hives. The area is quite large but there isn't any part of it where we don't go e.g to the greenhouse, veg patch, compost bins, washing line etc.

My question is how far away do I need to keep from the bees when I am going about my normal gardening. Will they get annoyed if I wander past on a regular basis? Do I need to keep a certain distance away except when actually working on the hives? What about mowing the grass anywhere near them - will they go mad!?!bee-smillie

Thanks for any advice

Roy
I think the main thing you need to consider is which way does you hive face (probably southwards) and what is their likely main source of food? Then you can take a stab at what their likely flight path is going to be and whether this will impact on a) neighbours, b) gardening, c) washing lines (and leaving little presents on your clean sheets is unlikely to endear you to the domestic staff.) If you have ground that is at different levels, you can use this feature as well to keep bees and humans separated just like air traffic control.

So you really need to think about the local terrain from the bee's eye point of view, work out food sources, water supplies, local topography and then see if that coincides with the human world. Bet you it doesn't.
 

skydragon 

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Backing up what Margob99 says, you need to consider what you will do when (probably when - not if) your bees become aggressive and follow. I know from experience when that happens it's presents an unfair and untenable situation with neighbours.

I've a couple of hives in my back garden right now and a couple in a farmers field 4 miles away... the reason being that earlier in the year I had to suddenly shift two of the hives due to agression. The key point being the bees went from placid to damn agressive in the space of a few weeks.
 

barratt_sab 

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Have you joined your local association? If you have, you might find a member who is willing to come and have a look at your garden in person. We did, and it proved really helpful in thinking about where (and whether) to keep hives in the garden.
 
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Hi,

At the moment I'm trying to suss out the best place in the garden to put a couple of hives.
Roy - I've checked the Corrie map and your flat over the Victoria St Cafe doesnt really have an extensive garden. Have you though about finding space somewhere on the Red Rec? (would definitely keep them away from the viaduct for the next few months)
 

RoyCropper 

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Roy - I've checked the Corrie map and your flat over the Victoria St Cafe doesnt really have an extensive garden. Have you though about finding space somewhere on the Red Rec? (would definitely keep them away from the viaduct for the next few months)
I had thought about the Red Rec but it's a bit of a walk. Hayley suggested the factory roof but I'm not keen on heights!

Thanks for the replies. I have joined my local association so will ask advice there too. It would be a shame if the 'bees at the bottom of the garden' idea became a liability due to followers chasing my lawn mowing neighbours bee-smillie


Cheers


Roy
 

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