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Taking a Stance

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Recently viewed an Apiary / beekeeping yard on U-Tube showing blocks of 8 + commercial sized hives,facing to each direction N,S, E & W; all frantic with little honey gatherers.

The traditional stance for a hive in the UK seems to be in a line all neatly facing due S and about one yard apart.

So question for all you "BeeKeePeeps" is how close and why???

All comments cheerfully received :hurray:

Thanks Folks!!
 

BBG 

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A photograph of the apiary at Buckfast showed hives in a square about 2' 6" apart, pointing to all cardinal points.

Vary positioning from SE to SW four feet apart would seem about right.
 

keithgrimes 

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I've always been told SW (maximises daylight). I have mine about three feet apart but thats mainly to give space to work around them. In our association apiary they are only inches apart and we work the hives from behind. On a slightly different but related topic, Willie Robson (commercial beekeeper round here, 2500 hives) says don't have more than six together, encourages drifting he says.
 
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roche 

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Think of exposure to sun - the more the better, whilst keeping wind to a minimum. Too close together and they can shade each other.
 

Rosti 

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Boringly practical ....

Face south because they have to (wood behind)
60" long double stands with rooom (during inspections) to stack hive parts on the upturned roof inbetween, saves bending down!

If you needed to I dare say you could squeeze a third in, short term.

Having read the thread am now seriiously considering re-orientating toward Mecca though
:D
 

skydragon 

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Having read the thread am now seriiously considering re-orientating toward Mecca though
I'd say your hives are already roughly pointing towards Harewood Hill :)

(Private joke, sorry)
 
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The traditional stance for a hive in the UK seems to be in a line all neatly facing due S and about one yard apart.
I am not at all sure that is the traditional way to organise hives in the UK due to worries over drifting and the spread of disease. Common ways include 4 on a pallet facing in different directions or in pairs, again facing in opposite ways.

Apiaries which get a bit of sun seem to do better than ones in shade all day but I am not aware anyone has shown that a hive facing say south does better than one next to it facing in another direction. The bees do seem to show themslves earlier if the entrance is in sun which gives the impression the bees are busier but in terms of honey production I don't think there is any difference.
 

peteinwilts 

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mine are all south facing, and the bees at the top of a slope are flying at least 30 minutes longer than those at the bottom of the slope (gets sun for 30 mins longer)

Mine are in small groups, each hive slightly offset and at least 5 large steps away from each other (mostly many more steps!) which allows me to work on another hive if I have to duck for cover due to the hive being moody.

Also, a good distance between each helps me to easily pop another hive in between when performing swarm control.
 

madasafish 

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I carefully positioned mine
with a hedge to the north (winter wind shelter),
far enough away from the house not to be too shaded in the morning ( the house is South east of them),
out of sight of the road,
facing southwest - for the sun in the morning to strike the sides and melt the frost and warm them up quickly,
and
about 1 metre apart so I can cut the grass between them.. and under them by lawnmower (which they don't seem to mind as long as I do not hit the hive).

Those were my thoughts as a newbie in April 2010 - seems OK so far.
 
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