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fizzle 

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Hi All,

I am currently looking around my local area for a small apiary site. What's the main things you would look out for when selecting a potential site?

I've posted screenshots below of a potential location close to a water source and reasonable amount of foliage. There is rapeseed within 3km and small pockets of woodland. Unfortunately there is no bogland nearby for heather although I do have access to a site for later on in the season. I would like to keep the bees close by for early-mid season and potentially move them for a couple of weeks later on.

How do you approach landowners to talk about keeping bees on their land?

Any tips appreciated.

Apiary Capture.JPG
Apiary Capture1.JPG
 

ericbeaumont 

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These two recent threads will start you off, Fizzle.
Main thing is access, security, forage (and good-tempered bees). Watch out for flooding: you've chosen a spot right next to water. If flooding is not an issue, I'd prefer the area on the east side of the river, below the big barn with a silver roof and in the clearing between the belts of trees; you could access the area from the yard above.
 

fizzle 

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Thanks Eric. Good point on the flooding. I've seen the field down river flood before. Not sure the site on other side is an option as its Council owned but I could ask.
 

ericbeaumont 

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Yes, footpaths are bad news. Council site may have good fencing and locked gates (both in your favour) and they might give you a key if you come across well. Be prepared to show BKA PLI and talk as if you know what you're doing (even if you don't :)).
 

Newbeeneil 

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Yes, footpaths are bad news. Council site may have good fencing and locked gates (both in your favour) and they might give you a key if you come across well. Be prepared to show BKA PLI and talk as if you know what you're doing (even if you don't :)).
It's amazing what a bit of bullshit does😀
 

E&MBees 

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FIBKA connect beekeepers with farmers and landowners: form is here. Why not approach the owner of those OSR fields and put your bees there, rather than make them fly the 2.61km?
Do you know if there is something similar for the UK?
 

fizzle 

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Is that a footpath alongside the river bank?
Hi Monbees, this is private land so no public access although they do host weddings and other events in the main House. Its more of a track around the estate. That field is usually used for hay. My only concern is they spray along the river bank for weed control.
 

fizzle 

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FIBKA connect beekeepers with farmers and landowners: form is here. Why not approach the owner of those OSR fields and put your bees there, rather than make them fly the 2.61km?
Brilliant thanks Erik. I was not aware of this IBKA form.

OSR is a rotational crop as far as I am aware so may not be grown in those particular fields this year?
 

ericbeaumont 

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Brilliant thanks Erik. I was not aware of this IBKA form.
Nor me, until I looked for the Irish version of the BBKA Basic Assessment.

Benefit of the BA is that if a farmer or landowner hears that you have PLI, done a BKA training course (er, perhaps not, given current circs) and intend to take in due course a basic assessment of your improved skills, it will demonstrate that you are a committed beekeeper and not a sketchy fly-by-night.

Anyway, the FIBKA Education page was empty, so while I was there I had a stroll-around and came upon that useful link. If you join your local BKA you'll be able to access the FIBKA Members' Area, which might be useful.
 

fizzle 

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If you join your local BKA you'll be able to access the FIBKA Members' Area, which might be useful.
I did attend my local BKA course and am a member of the IBKA. Unfortunately my local BKA are not very good at communication. I should use the IBKA website a bit more.
 

E&MBees 

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As I found out this afternoon, also check for hostile livestock. Wrestling with goats was not what I was expecting whilst checking out a potential site.
 

Gilberdyke John 

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As I found out this afternoon, also check for hostile livestock. Wrestling with goats was not what I was expecting whilst checking out a potential site.
We used to keep a few goats prior to moving to Billericay for a couple of years when our children were at junior school. My daughter Julia (9) went to the IOW with the school and the party was taken to a tourist attraction with goats. Somehow one of the party managed to let one of the goats out and the headmaster leading the group was flapping around in panic. Julia simply got hold of it by one horn and put it back in it's pen. Country girl 1 townie 0😉
 

Curly green finger's 

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Nor me, until I looked for the Irish version of the BBKA Basic Assessment.

Benefit of the BA is that if a farmer or landowner hears that you have PLI, done a BKA training course (er, perhaps not, given current circs) and intend to take in due course a basic assessment of your improved skills, it will demonstrate that you are a committed beekeeper and not a sketchy fly-by-night.

Anyway, the FIBKA Education page was empty, so while I was there I had a stroll-around and came upon that useful link. If you join your local BKA you'll be able to access the FIBKA Members' Area, which might be useful.
Not to po po this Eric the above doesn't stand for toffee so I'm finding out.

Contacts via speaking to farmers yourself isn't a problem, forget your certificates.
There's easier and cheaper ways of getting those pollination contracts /apiarys, and insurance by all accounts.
It's called the phone book or nternet and then a phone call.

To talk about new sites.
Don't bother if they are only after something for themselves because it won't work and it will cost you time and money.

You need free access to the site.
If they are interested in honey, clarify that its 1 jar per hive..find out there expectations if you need to drive on wet fields, damage etc.

Im coming to the conclusion alot of folk are interested in learning maybe even inspecting with you, this is becoming a pain for me, I mentor four( two family's)
And two folk,
Where does it stop, and you have to start to think about the financial side if it.
Apologies Eric if my comment sounds a bit offish, the above are things I'm finding out.
 

ericbeaumont 

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Horses for courses, Mark.

It's different if you've experience of getting the best out of clients (that's often the trickiest part of a job) or been around landowners and bees awhile because the impression you give will be convincing, but a new hobby beekeeper may come across less confidently and capable and in these cases, I've seen supporting info. work.
a lot of folk are interested in learning maybe even inspecting
This can be a real drag and with some people you can see it coming; I deal with it as soon as it pops up and explain that I work to a schedule and can't fit around theirs (I put it more gently than that). I've a few small contracts where the client gets keen, but I point out the expense of slow learning and head them off to a BKA and a beginner course.
 
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Drewdrew 

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Don't forget that landowners are regularly asked by people to use their land (being one, I can attest to this), the nearer to towns you are, the worse the problem.

If its not the metal detectorists, its the non-paying pony owners who have been kicked off every other yard in a 10 mile radius.
If its not them, then its the dog owners looking for a secure area or field to run their dogs.
If its not them, then its the townies who want a small allotment area to grow their veg.
If its not them, its someone looking for somewhere to store a vehicle.
If its not them, its someone with zero experience, on furlough, looking to work on a farm, in exchange for accommodation.
If its not them, its the guy who got a sub 12ft/lbs .177 for Christmas, and now thinks he's a 'pest controller' and wants somewhere to shoot rats ("but its free").
If its not them, its the bloody beekeepers!

I tell everyone No, unless they come to me with a bit of experience, and look like they know what they are doing. Saying you have PLI from the ABC DKP THGS HNJD (yes, I made them up) means absolutely bugger all.

Someone saying they have 30 hives, and need somewhere in this area to help expand into, or more than 3 miles from their others will spike my interest. Wouldn't be on my land (for obvious reasons), but I know others who may be able to help.
 

Pembroke 

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My tip would be make sure the land owner knows that you're responsible for the bees and the siting of the hives. That is you're the only one who can move them and they should ask you to move them if that becomes necessary not do it themselves.
 

Curly green finger's 

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Don't forget that landowners are regularly asked by people to use their land (being one, I can attest to this), the nearer to towns you are, the worse the problem.

If its not the metal detectorists, its the non-paying pony owners who have been kicked off every other yard in a 10 mile radius.
If its not them, then its the dog owners looking for a secure area or field to run their dogs.
If its not them, then its the townies who want a small allotment area to grow their veg.
If its not them, its someone looking for somewhere to store a vehicle.
If its not them, its someone with zero experience, on furlough, looking to work on a farm, in exchange for accommodation.
If its not them, its the guy who got a sub 12ft/lbs .177 for Christmas, and now thinks he's a 'pest controller' and wants somewhere to shoot rats ("but its free").
If its not them, its the bloody beekeepers!

I tell everyone No, unless they come to me with a bit of experience, and look like they know what they are doing. Saying you have PLI from the ABC DKP THGS HNJD (yes, I made them up) means absolutely bugger all.

Someone saying they have 30 hives, and need somewhere in this area to help expand into, or more than 3 miles from their others will spike my interest. Wouldn't be on my land (for obvious reasons), but I know others who may be able to help.
I can relate to people wanting to shoot on your land that's about as much as I can compare
 
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