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oftensleepless 

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Hello everyone,

I have been interested in keeping bees for a couple of years now and late last year I actually went along to one of the local association meetings. I'm now on their New Beekeepers course (six two-hour lectures then two saturday afternoon apiary visits, has been very interesting so far).

As it's now April and getting close to swarming time I have been looking at buying a hive and finding somewhere to put it. The first bit seems easy enough and there is a lot of choice. I'm struggling though with the location.

I am not going to keep the hive at home; the garden isn't really large enough and my wife already puts up with a lot from my other hobbies. I've heard that a lot of people keep their hives on farm land, but I'm struggling. How do you find farmers that are willing to let you do this?

Thanks
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Hi Oftensleepless

You can consider registering with Landshare http://landshare.channel4.com/listings/type/grower/by/Greater London

I got a site through that and have being contacted the other day offering a unfortunately not suitable plot for bees.

As for farmers I think perhaps the direct polite knock at the door, I am of the opinion that most farmers see the benefits of bees even if they are dairy farmers and also the offer of a couple of pounds of honey per hive at the end of the season will help.

Good look
 

grizzly 

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As Tom says.

And when i started to look i used Google Earth/Maps to look at the satellite image of my local area, pin point farms, or churches (yes churches, i have a site through contacting a rural church), anywhere that looks interesting.

I also did a search for local farms addresses on the web, fruit farms in particular, to save some petrol i sent some emails and wrote some letters, as well as knocked on doors, all in all i got a very good response.

You can then at your leisure pootle on round and view these places, take some pics ask advice of the Grand Old Wise Ones on here before you make a decision.
 

Poly Hive 

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the bottom line here is go and look.

find a spot you fancy and then find the land owner and ask:

"Can I put some bees on that bit of land there please."

Be specific and be ready to answer some questions. In the main farmers/land owners are very open to having bees on their land, provided it is no hassle to them I have found.

Also the larger operations are better as they have more understanding of what is required from them re spraying and so on.

The other good bet is the little guy who does not spray at all and mounts a shot gun guard on your bees. And yes I have had that one....Changed van and met the farmer at the gate who was in his landy c/w shotgun as he wasn't sure who the vehicle was. LOL

PH
 

Midland Beek 

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Poly Hive is right. It is sometimes best for you to find a spot yourself, establish who owns the land, and then ask if you can place a few beehives.

But it is tough to find a spot on farmland if it is managed intensively. And forage in such areas can be poor as well. Better on farmland near the edge of built up areas where bees will also have access to gardens.
 

jezd 

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or just buy some land?
 

oftensleepless 

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Thanks for the replies. I've had a look at LandShare and there are a couple of "bottom of the garden" adverts that I'll reply to. I think I'll earmark tomorrow or Monday for a drive round looking for good sites and go from there.

Loved your document Pete, some good ideas there. Think I need to get a bit of experience (and some bees!) before I try some of them!
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi Hedgerow Pete,
I have just finished reading your article on Finding an Apiary Site. A thought provoking article Pete. Agree with you when you say we all want the best possible site for our bees, but as we know that's not always possible.I believe the first priority for selecting a site is forage in the area. If there's not enough forage then its silly to site your bees in an area of little forage .. So here we have to do a bit of homework before deciding where to place the hives. you have not approached the problem of other allotment members who might object to having bees on the allotment, although you have addressed the problem of members of the public being near or possibly passing through a flight path. Not sure about your philosophy about gaining support from the Council, but if its works fine.
Then unfortunately you now go on to mention about hive building and in all honesty Pete you have not touched anything about sighting an apiary to be of use to beginners. Nice try though.


Regards;
 

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