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Thread: Over Saturation

  1. #1
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    Default Over Saturation

    Do you risk with really big operations an over saturation of Bees in an area?

    Can apiary get too big?

    Shortage of nectar, pollen, Etc.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I am a newbee, but from everything I have read it seems that robbing becomes a problem before oversaturation does. In our part of the country, the consensus seems to be that 20 hives on a particular site is enough. No real world experience with it here though.

  3. #3
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    Default seperation

    I'm a Noob too.

    How far apart sites?

    I would think the farther the bees have to fly the less work they get done.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Hi Bill!

    Here is one experts comments:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.ht...nyhivesoneacre

    In Southern Oregon, I have seen yards with considerably more than 20 hives, however. As far as separation, when I talked with a commercial beekeeper, he said that they try to keep at least 1 mile apart. I suspect that were there was less forage, you would want to increase the distance. From the link above, it says that the bees will collect on the surrounding 8000 acres or a circle with a 2 mile radius. For no overlap that would mean a spacing of 4 miles between yards. If you can find a local beekeeping club or a local mentor, they could give advise specific to your area.

    Larry Edwards

  5. #5
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    Default Feral

    What would you consider to be the normal number of feral hives in a 2 mile radius?

  6. #6
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    Default Feral

    You'll probably get some difference in opinions on 'Feral' ...but...I would say the expectations in terms of numbers of feral hives increases depending on how many managed hives are close to that area, plus a little dependent on how those managed hives are actually managed...if you get the gist of what I'm saying. If not I'll simply say that I'm sure I've contributed to the number of feral colonies in my area, to be honest.
    "burr comb happens..."

  7. #7
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    Default Shortage of nectar, pollen, Etc.

    In the grazing category of livestock management we refer to carrying capacity or animal units per acre.

    A simple answer to your question is yes with some restrictions to the locality.
    I have seen some big yards placed in the sage honey flow and the hives still made 60 pounds +
    Regards,
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dickerson View Post
    Do you risk with really big operations an over saturation of Bees in an area?

    Can apiary get too big?

    Shortage of nectar, pollen, Etc.
    As per my experience the size of an apiary has more to do w/ how many a beekeeper wants to work before moving on to the next yard.

    When my bees are in NY for the summer I usually have 24 to 40 hives per yard. My colonies are on 4-way pallets, so I keep an even number of pallets in each yard. It works out best for transportation.

    When my hives are in SC for the winter the 400 that I take down there get spread out into 5 or 6 yards, so the numbers very.

    I've seen plenty of hives here in NY w/ 60 to 100 colonies in them for the summer when the honey is made.

    I've also seen times when a resident beekeeper has had a migratory beekeeper place a yard close to or right acroos the road from their yard. They complain about it when it happens and just as often as not they don't see a decline in production. So what I conclude from that is, if the crop is there everybody gets it and if it isn't nobody gets it. I'd be more worried about disease and pest transfer either way.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
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    Default Clarify

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dickerson View Post
    What would you consider to be the normal number of feral hives in a 2 mile radius?
    To clarify ...in a natural or wild area, how many feral hives would occupy an area.

    I don't think I have ever come across a feral hive in my life. Of course I wasn't looking and I imagine the bees don't put any little signs out.

  10. #10
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    Default

    This all very much depends on your area. Some areas, 10 hives in an apiary are too many. Others, 100 might be acceptable.

    Same with unmanaged colonies. In many places around here, zero colonies unmanaged colonies live in an area with a radius of two miles. In other regions, unmanaged colonies are far more common.

  11. #11
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    Default

    It's all about the available resources. There will eventually be a diminishing return if you have too many hives. The key to good beekeeping (commercial wise) is to place the right amount of hives to maximize your honey production on any given yard. When we start a new yard we usually put in between 12 and 24 to start. (they are on 4 ways so you place them in multiples of 4) If they do well then you increase. Usually its more a question of how many hives you have available for your yards then reaching the saturation point though I have seen yards near urban areas that do start to decline after a certain number of hives.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  12. #12
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    Default

    mr dickerson writes:
    I don't think I have ever come across a feral hive in my life. Of course I wasn't looking and I imagine the bees don't put any little signs out.

    tecumseh:
    the difference between feral and them little white boxes of bees in regards to 'saturation' point for the first would be defined by adequate nesting sites and of the second nectar flow.

  13. #13
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    Default natural

    What I'm looking for is a WAG of what is a normal number of hives that G-d would put in an area.

    I understand it would vary but in a forested area in Tennessee how many hives would expected to be in an area before Chris Columbus.

    Did any Indian tribes keep hives?

  14. #14
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    Default

    Bill, if no one else understands your question; I think I do.

    I grew up in the woods, and I am alergic to yellow jackets. Any time I am in the woods I am looking for bees. I don't have any documentation, but I wander over 700+ acres every year. I only know of 1 colony on the whole 700 acres. They have been there for about 20 years, so I am sure they have swarmed but no one was there to see it. still there is only 1 hive on the ground. but this is woods with creek bottoms through it. in a river bottom, or cultivated ground I am sure there can be more. I did a cutout last summer, and there was another colony 4 feet from this one in the same house soffit.

    I think the question you are asking is "How many colony's you would likely find in an area?" Have you located a ferel colony, and wonder if there are more in the area?

  15. #15
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    Default Feral

    No it's in relation to the over saturation question.

    Your description is exactly what I'm wondering.

  16. #16
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dickerson View Post
    What I'm looking for is a WAG of what is a normal number of hives that G-d would put in an area.

    I understand it would vary but in a forested area in Tennessee how many hives would expected to be in an area before Chris Columbus.

    Did any Indian tribes keep hives?
    europeans (sp) brought our bees over from the old country. the new world didn't have european honey bees until after the european invasion.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  17. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dickerson View Post
    Did any Indian tribes keep hives?
    Not until after 1619.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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