I'd have to agree with BB. Been thinking of chiming in but kind of bit my tongue.
I recall as a teenager watching a couple of movies that had something to do with inner-city street gangs. I thought then and still do that the idea of "my turf" is ridiculous. It's not "your turf". A beekeeper, commercial or otherwise, can sign a contract with whoever he wishes to place bees on that farmer's property. If the contract gives him exclusivity, then OK, no one else may place hives on THAT PROPERTY. But what if I want to put hives in across the street that is someone else's property? Is that the "turf" of the first beek? I call BS. If it looks like a good place to put my bees and that property owner gives his permission, I'll go for it. Now, in making the determination that it is or is not a good location, I will obviously take into account known existing apiaries in the area. (which is one reason I wish states would have a site where you could identify locations of current apiaries.) Existence of another apiary would greatly diminish the attractiveness of an area. Even so, if the amount of forage is sufficient for a thousand colonies and a commercial beek has 200 in that area, then I am not going to pass up the opportunity to put in my dozen or so hives. I'll likely also take the opportunity to double the number of swarm traps.
I'm sure I am about to get stuff thrown at me and take some of the flak off Bee Bliss. That's OK. I'm thick-skinned.
If commercial beeks want protected areas they should form an association and fight for legislation and registration for their behalf. Oh yeah, they should pay for it also.
Brian, w/ only your home yd and limited number of yrs beekeeping you don't really know the etiquette of outyards amongst commercial beekeepers.
I talked to the farmer again today to see if I could get the beekeepers name that puts his hives on his place and then I called and left a message with the people. The farmer said he was going to put him on another 450 acre piece of property far from where I am anyhow, but to show respect, I called the beekeeper anyhow.
Waiting back on the phone call now.
This thread started was by a guy who is small and has ambitions to grow. No one has a problem with that especially myself since I started with one swarm.
As logger recapped " all the good bee country is long taken". I just wanted to give beeghost a realistic picture as he will find out soon enough considering his location. I ain't deaf. There are many yards in his area that are third generation. (Not mine by the way) Some have been used for over 100 years by the same family or string of beekeepers from buyouts.
Yards get utilized to the max if not beyond in all good bee country. The quantity placed per yard varies depending on the conditions each year. When someone steps on top of another yard its just like putting to many cows on one pasture. Bees are no different in that respect. It caused range wars in the old west and is still more prevalent in the bee industry today than most folks openly acknowledge.
The theory is actually pretty simple if you think about it. Yard jumpers cost money. Feed, either by flower or purchased from Mann lake is not free. When expenses increase people get nervous. When people get nervous they usually act accordingly. Therefore the prudent don't make people nervous if they dont want to get nervous themselves. BEE RESPECTFUL. or as other have said here "stay within the etiquette of outyards"
I don't jump on my neighbors yards and they know I expect the same. With 50, 000 hives based within 40 miles of myself with almost every outfit having been run over 30 years if not way longer we keep it that simple.
If Beeghost doesn't learn anything else from this thread he might want to consider: "Staying to yourself but helping each other out tends to work out quite well". Talking with the landowner as well as the other beeks on the place is a very good idea. Thats if you heed the "advice" your given. If you hear nothing back I would not move in.
North of me, up towards logger( wont say how far) there's an outfit who is now putting 250+ hives in many a yard where once he barely had thirty long ago. Its a feed mill operation currently. Since his dad was in the business he knows that if he moves on top of someone else its going to easily cost him more than he will gain. Smart move cause I know the guys around him will quickly let him know if he strays.
A couple of years back there was an ad or article in the ABJ about someones stack yard getting toasted while in the almonds or shortly thereafter in the Bakersfield area.The people pleaded ignorance. When I read the article I knew just like everyone other experienced "old" timer in this business that the "victim" who was here for the almond gold rush and most likely did something they should not have and got busted as a result. My guess is they "stole" someones space either ignorantly or on purpose.
You may think it may be different where your from but that's not likely as heard from the behind the scene stories I hear around the country. That's if you eavesdrop at the right location.
Reading many post here on Beesource I get the impression commercial beekeeping in the US is declining. What is wrong with new blood? How does somebody with 20 hives hurt someone with 1000 hives?
If it is all about hard labor and expertise, wouldn't you just laugh at them?
Locations are a beemans most important asset. You can always get more bees, but good locations are hard to get and keep.I hate losing yards worse than anything.
That said , it sounds like you are on the right track with this, BeeGhost. Best of luck to you!
If we go WAAAAAy back, before Sulfa was invented for AFB, it was very important to keep all beeyards 4 miles apart to prevent transference of disease. The only cure at that time was fire.
This helped to establish the idea of 'Turf" in many of the Oldtimer's mind, and is often still alive today.
Thanks Mark, I don't want to ruffle any feathers of fellow beekeepers, especially those who's living depends on the little insects.
Both doc, both. More hives in fewer hands and a decline in the total number. Also more small scale beekeepers and sideliners. And, because of our increasing population less available land to put apiaries on.
I don't know about LESS beekeepers???? There are alot more 1-5 hive beekeepers in the southern part of our territory, and also alot more AFB. Coincidence?