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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Liberty, MO USA
    Posts
    57

    Question

    What do you recommend for side-by-side spacing between hives. Is there a rule on this? What about between rows?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Well I have tried lots of different ways. I like to be able to drive a truck between rows if possible. I like to have two hives side by side then a few feet then the next two side by side in rows, ect. This is so I can set stuff on the one next to it, yet slow down drifting. You can use S patterns or U patterns to stop drifting. I guess what I'm saying is there isn't really any rules. You gotta work with what area you have to work with some places are more ideal than others. On farmers land sometimes you gotta squeeze the hives tight. On your own land and lots of room you can do more ideal configurations. So it all depends...for good ideas read the "beekeepers handbook".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    oops...I guess I didn't answer the first question to well. Leave enough space so you can walk through and around each hive if you want just plain old rows.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Post

    Once in a while I've seen side by side hives where the stronger started robbing the weaker and I moved them further apart and they stopped. Usually it's not a problem to have them butted up against each other. I like to leave a little room to work. If you put a hive about every two feet you have 8" between them. That's what most of mine are right now. I only have one row. But if you have multiple rows, it's always a trade off. Do you want to face the two rows, in which case I'd leave a couple of feet or more between them, or face them away from each other. The advantage of facing them away is you are working down the middle without being in front of any of the hives. The disadvatage is there is a larger area of "garud bee" space. It's hard not to walk right in front of the hives when approaching them. If you face them opposite directions you could put them as close as you like but you'll want room to work them. Three feet would probably work.

    There really isn't a clear cut "better" way.

    It's true you sometimes get some drifting toward one end, but that's also a tool you can use to strengthen a weak hive by putting it on the end where they drift to.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,290

    Post

    I always set mine out in groups of 4 just like they were on pallets(sometimes they ARE on pallets) offloading on each side of the truck.The 4 are close together(maybe 6 inches apart,but I try to get several feet between groups.This is tighter than many recommend,but with all the different colors I use plus some geometric designs spray painted on a hive here and there ,drifting isnt noticeable.Most hives in a yard will be pretty close to each other in honey production.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    My hives are separated. Separated by trees or distance. This makes it easy for me to distinguish who is robbing and who is being robbed. The beeline is very obvious.

    I see most hives are grouped though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Post

    When the horses weren't greedily wanting all the grass, I had them more spread out, but most people, like me now, are crowding hives into an area that is too wooded or on the fringe of land that is used for other things. There usually isn't room to spread them out. But I had less robbing when they were more spread out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,804

    Post

    Due to being a rogue beekeeper, 25 hives on a parcel permitted for two, I have 16 on a truck bed, spaced 1/2" apart, in two rows of eight, on two hive screened pallets. I can move out in hours if hassled by the law. The only problem has been dealing with stacks of supers, like removing a heavy one from between two tall stacks. Had over 100 lb. average, but in fall, as some died of mites or whatever, they were robbed PDQ due to the close spacing. I would prefer to have a wider spacing on a beautiful plot in the country, but necessity is the mother of invention. Have pics if you are interested.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dousman,Wi.U.S.A.
    Posts
    209

    Post

    Frank: I'd be interested in your pictures as I'm sure others would be also. Hope you will share them with us. We can always learn something from shared experiences. I think that is what this site is all about. Thanks. K.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Falconer, NY
    Posts
    206

    Post

    Frank, Am I to gather that you leave the hives on the back of the truck all the time? That is very interesting.Tell us more about this type of mobile beekeeping?

    tom

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