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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    2

    Default Overcrowding an area

    I am thinking about keeping bees commercially. What is the maximum number of hives that an area will support? If I have 100 hives on one farm, would there be enough pollen to support that many hives? Would I have to find multiple farms or orchards and work out a sharecropping deal with the owners?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,035

    Default Re: Overcrowding an area

    This is being discussed on another thread, but basically, in my opinion, the number of colonies per yard is more a matter of what you feel comfortable working, at a time. I can't tell you what your ecosystem in CO will support. It could be two or two hundred.

    Start w/ 20 per yard and add more, as you feel out the answer through experience.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Whittier, CA
    Posts
    362

    Default Re: Overcrowding an area

    From others I heard that 50 - 60 hives per location is acceptable.
    You can keep 400 but you have to feed them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,527

    Default Re: Overcrowding an area

    It all depends on forage available. In FL citrus 80 hives is no problem, usually. In WI by me 40 is plenty and 24-32 is better. The fewer you have the faster you can get the honey off so you are not starting a robbing frenzy when there is not a flow going on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,691

    Default Re: Overcrowding an area

    I agree with Beeslave, around 30 seems to work well.


    Roland

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    984

    Default Re: Overcrowding an area

    We keep 24-32 in most yards in KY. A few locations I put 48 (really good clover/poplar areas). Other than robbing, a good area can support 100. A few years back there were 3 beekeepers in my area, all of us were 1 mile apart with yards ranging 32-48 and we all did good. I have put 100 to 150 in a yard in Fl on orange....and there are many MANY yards within 1 mile! 200/yard on pepper.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,664

    Default Re: Overcrowding an area

    I have 34 hives here at home and didn't have a problem all summer. Things changed this fall,we have a dearth right now 8/31/09 before the aster and goldenrod bloom and i can't take a lid off a hive without robbers showing up. Makes winter inspection miserable,guess i'll have to wait and hope for a fall flow. Jack

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Overcrowding an area

    My hive numbers vary, largely to the comfort level of the landlord (or the spouse).

    Ideally, I like 16 to 20 hives for one location, but I have a good idea that some yards could support more. I would put more, but I also have more people wanting hives on their farm than I have hives.

    One of my constraints is how many supers I want to put on my truck at harvest time. Not wanting to drag a trailer into some tight spots requiring 4x4, I prefer to put everything on my truck. And it's not the weight, it's how many hives will be shifting their presence under the ratchet straps.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Overcrowding an area

    Quote Originally Posted by suttonbeeman View Post
    We keep 24-32 in most yards in KY. A few locations I put 48 (really good clover/poplar areas). Other than robbing, a good area can support 100. A few years back there were 3 beekeepers in my area, all of us were 1 mile apart with yards ranging 32-48 and we all did good. I have put 100 to 150 in a yard in Fl on orange....and there are many MANY yards within 1 mile! 200/yard on pepper.
    200 per yard on pepper!! WOW, talk about a robbing frenzy.

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