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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    Hi. I've got 3 major beekeepers in my area with as many as 2500-3000 hives between them (hard to say exactly, they're tight lipped about the actual numbers). Two of them are migratory pollinators, they show up sometime in May for the blueberry pollination, move on to cranberries for a while, then put them in out apiaries of roughly 20-30 hives each- the generally accepted number that this area will support. Come fall they head south for the winter. I've been scouting around for possible locations for out yards for next year and it seems ever time I locate a site, it turns out to already be in use.. eventually, I'll find some sites, but it's getting frustrating!

    I've worked part time for one of them- he's a good fellow and has told me where his hives are- most of them anyways. He's even given me some suggested locations where I might consider putting some hives. Fortunately, none of these beekeepers have bees much closer than 3-4 miles from my home apiary, at least, not that I'm aware of. Given how well my hives are doing, I'm pretty confident there aren't other bees right close.

    It seemed to me that it would make sense for these guys to get together and tell each other where they have bees- this guy I help from time to time told me of one instance where one of his out yards wasn't producing like it should- it turned out another beekeeper had a yard a few fields over, hidden behind a hedge row.

    It seems the other beekeepers like to keep their locations secret.. afraid that if others find out where they are, they'll think it must be a good place and they'll put some there too. Likewise, if they find out where another beekeeper has bees, they figure it must be a good place and they're likely to put THEIRS nearby...

    How many of you have out yards and do you communicate with other beekeepers in your area about where your hives- and theirs- are located? Is this shoot-yourself-in-foot type of approach to beekeeping typical around the country?

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Odessa, Missouri
    Posts
    629

    Post

    Is this shoot-yourself-in-foot type type of approach to beekeeping typical around the country?

    Yes!

    If a beekeeper suggests an area for *your* bees I would go directly in the other direction.
    Bob Harrison

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Clayton Indiana
    Posts
    348

    Post

    George

    It must be really crowded in Maine? Here in Central Indiana, I pretty much get to choose where I place my beeyards. I go to a church that has a lot of older members with large family farms and pasture. Wooded and secluded area's along creeks and the like.

    I give out a free honey bear(bribe) to the folks I want to approach about the subject and go from there. They ussually talk of old times when their kin folk keep bees back in the day.

    I grew up in the area where I live and know a lot of people thru 4-H and church. I know where most of the other beekeepers are from local bee clubs so we get along. The bigger commercial guys help us out quite a bit. They are envolved at the state bee club level.

    No real secret, just knowing folks helps I guess.
    Todd Zeiner

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    307

    Post

    Here in MN we're required to register our apiary locations. My impression is that most folks do follow the regs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    I never thought it was crowded here- it's rural countryside with farms and lakes but with 2 commercial pollinators right local (in the same or an adjoining town) and 2 other large (200-400 hives) operations, from a beekeeping point of view it sure feels crowded! We own 120 acres, 2/3 of it is tree farm and the rest hay field and it's a pretty good place for bees. A good deal of Maine as you head north is virtually all forest and doesn't offer the greatest bee forage.

    I have no doubt I'll find locations for out yards without having to travel 50 miles, I'm looking to establish permanent locations with roughly 10 hives in each but pretty much every "good" place within 10 miles of my home that I've checked so far are already in use. That doesn't really bother me, what bothers me is this apparent lack of communication about where their bee yards are!

    We are required to register our apiaries with the State, but this only nails down locations by County- you don't have to list town and road names.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    George Ferguson sezs:
    It seems the other beekeepers like to keep their locations secret.. afraid that if others find out where they are, they'll think it must be a good place and they'll put some there too.

    tecumseh replies:
    sound advice give to me as a newbee some 30 years back by a beekeeping family of several generations. sound advice then, sound advice now... I imagine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Georgia, VT
    Posts
    67

    Post

    Here in Vermont all hives must be registered with the state. Commercial beekeepers can not place a hive within 2 miles of another beekeepers commercial hives, there location must be registered with the state so that other beekeepers know where they can and can not place hives. A beekeeper is considered commercial at 15 hives. The 2 mile rule does not apply to hobbiests, but hobbiests are thought to be keepeing there hive close to home or in their back yard. Disclaimer, this info is from memmory of a coversation I had with my mentor a commercial beek that has 35 years commercial experience.

    Randy
    Randy<br /><br />\'Cause I not be nobody else!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Post

    Have you tried asking the vendors at the farmers markets? Seems possible that one of them might like a few hives to improve the fruit set.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Milton, Vermont
    Posts
    307

    Post

    Hey IBEEME, I live in Milton Vermont and you are correct. I registered my hives last year and read the rules and there is a law dictating the distance you have to stay away from other hives. I don't remember the exact distance but I think the apiary needs ten or more hives for the rule to apply.
    It is what it is.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    101

    Post

    Here's what it the VT regulations state:

    § 3034. ESTABLISHING AN APIARY LOCATION

    No person shall locate an apiary within two miles of an existing apiary registered to a different person, with the following exceptions:
    1) a person may locate an apiary anywhere on his or her own property;
    2) beekeepers with a total ownership of ten hives or less shall be exempt from this restriction;
    3) existing apiaries so long as they are properly registered with the state are exempt;
    4) a person may locate an apiary within two miles of another existing apiary provided the owner of the existing apiary gives written permission or the existing apiary has less than 15 hives;
    5) if a registered apiary of 15 or more hives should fall below and remain below 15 hives, anyone can petition the state and establish an apiarywithin two miles of the existing apiary provided the number of hives in theexisting apiary stays below 15 for two years from the time of the petition.An apiary that loses the protection of the two miles limit in this manner cannot be built back above the number of hives it had at the end of the two year period.

    § 3035. PENALTY
    A person who violates a provision of this chapter, or a regulation adopted under its
    authority, shall be fined not more than $500.00 for each offense.


    GreenMountainRose
    GreenMountainRose

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    288

    Post

    We've found that it is best to get along with your neighbors & see where their yards are & show them where yours are at. The areas where there are several yards close together are the areas to stay away from.
    AKA BEEMAN800

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    I'm not a fan of more laws, but that Vermont law seems rational and realistic. We don't have anything like that in Maine. I wonder how well- or IF- it is enforced?

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

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