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Planning multiple hives ... layout suggestions please

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nelletap 

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I am a bit of a newbie. When I was told at first that having at least two hives made sense (combining week colonies, coping with swarms ++) I thought it was a step too far - one step at a time. Now I have my first colony and am enjoying them I'd like to be really sensible and logical to plan the next steps. I think I am very fortunate; we have a fairly large garden (about half an acre?) and then at the bottom corner, through a short avenue of holly bushes etc is an area we call the pan handle which is wilder, south facing, 'walled in' by mainly evergreen shrubs/hedges and adjacent to fields usually with cows. At one time it was a tennis court so you can imagine the size. The entrance to the panhandle is wide enough for a car but I think we are more likely to use a garden tractor to carry heavy equipment.
The only existing hive is labelled 1; I had prepared a site at the bottom right for proposed site 2 but I think the track down to that is uneven and might not be easy for either the tractor or a trailor so I am thinking of making a collection of three as shown starting with hive 1. They would all be south, south east or south west facing and I could get behind all of them. If I went further then another 3 may be possible further back as indicated. However, advice is welcome indeed craved. I think I have sketched the hives a little too large in proportion to it all, and probably the length should be a little more. We do want to have a garden fire somewhere in the panhandle to allow for garden waste. It is mostly level if a little uneven where moles have been active. At the very bottom near to the fields the ground rises a little due to grass cuttings over a few years. I have some sand left from some building renovations and some spare paving slabs so I have levelled an area of about 2 paving slabs size for each hive and have planted some bee friendly plants and added a garden seat so I can watch them.
Hopefully I can add a picture here so it makes sense.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=256517&id=507721787&saved#!/photo.php?pid=7087300&id=507721787&ref=fbx_album
 
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T

Tom Bick 

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Welcome to the forum nelletap not able to see your plan but it all sounds perfect to me good look and enjoy the ride
 

MuswellMetro 

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Welcome to the forum nelletap not able to see your plan but it all sounds perfect to me good look and enjoy the ride
TOM just reposted his plan from facebook

My veiws, i am not a fan of half moon arrangments with entrance focused to a focal point, i think it causes too much drifting between hives

i have mine in a straight line with entrances facing SE to catch the morning sun, i attach a coloured symbol, to identfy the entrnace for the bees

what are the dimesion between each hive and each row
 

nelletap 

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The distance between each hive would be more than 3 ft but not a lot more; the distance between the two crescents would be about 30 or 40 feet.

I did wonder whether SE would be the best direction for the opening and the first one is facing SE. It seemed to me that in the summer this potentially allows the bees to make the most of the day because they would get warmth sooner. I also wondered about whether it is the actual distance - the sort of co-ordinates of the hive, or its orientation that helps bees to differentiate one hive from another. Does anyone know?

I have a different coloured tile on each of my hive roofs (samples from when we planned the kitchen!) Do I understand that the bees will identify a hive entrance if there is some colour coding?

Incidentally, was intrigued by the reference to the ease of finding the square root of -1 compared with beekeeping in a 'signature'. Sounds like a fellow mathematician to me.

tricia
 
T

Tom Bick 

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MM I understand what you say but as with most things the plan will evolve and is adaptable and I think perhaps 6 hives are a bit away and the whole layout may be deferent by then.
Tricia it still think it looks and sounds a perfect situation I am green with envy.
 

VEG 

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You can be up to six hives sooner than you think sometimes.
 

MuswellMetro 

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The distance between each hive would be more than 3 ft but not a lot more; the distance between the two crescents would be about 30 or 40 feet.

I did wonder whether SE would be the best direction for the opening and the first one is facing SE. It seemed to me that in the summer this potentially allows the bees to make the most of the day because they would get warmth sooner. I also wondered about whether it is the actual distance - the sort of co-ordinates of the hive, or its orientation that helps bees to differentiate one hive from another. Does anyone know?

I have a different coloured tile on each of my hive roofs (samples from when we planned the kitchen!) Do I understand that the bees will identify a hive entrance if there is some colour coding?

Incidentally, was intrigued by the reference to the ease of finding the square root of -1 compared with beekeeping in a 'signature'. Sounds like a fellow mathematician to me.

tricia
if they are in a line, say 5 hive then the outer hives 1&5 have been shown to have 2% foreigners and the ineer hive 2,3,&4 to have 5% foreigners

Yes bees recognise their entrance ,so on the continent (and i think Hedgrowpete's bee house ) it is normal to put a diiferent symbol (star, square circle etc) in different primary colours and whitr or black (expect REd as bees see red as black) by the entrance

not a mathematician but a Physicist but a bit out of date as i took it in 1971 solar physics)

my sig use to say "i live only to increase entropy" but no one got it
 
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oliver90owner 

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I imagine you must think of yourself as a disorganised person?

BTW, the Sun has not changed a lot in the last 40 years (in the larger picture of life of a star), so your knowledge is likely still quite relevant - just that we know just a tad more about the processes? And they took away the opportunity of measuring the speed of light with ever more accuracy![/I]

Regards, RAB
 

hedgerow pete 

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the hive positions that you have suggested are ok for up to four hives per cresent so dont worry about drifting to much if the worst case happens where all the bees start to favour one hive position you can always swap it with a smaller hive and the forager bees will feed into that without to many issues.

as for colours i would if you wanted too change some of the enterances or if you wish you can always screw a shaped plate to the fronts, triangle , square, circle etc.

i personaly have black country /birmingham bee hybrids which means instead of colours or shapes i put a tray of fresh pork scratchings in the shed and they home into that instead, lol
 

Poly Hive 

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Just to put matters into perspective here.

I used to plonk forty hives per site. I never gave location a thought apart from access.

Bit too much fretting going on here. Relax.

PH
 

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