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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Maine, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default How many hives per yard

    So I am in Maine and wondering how many hives you think is possible per yard in general. I mean Maine is a pretty wooded area so I don't know what would be a healthy amount of hives per yard.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    712

    Default Re: How many hives per yard

    It really all depends on forage. If you have 1000's of acres of fields full of wildflowers then you can have dozens of hives. If you have 1000's of acres of pine trees then you can have a few hives. Bees can fly a few miles but that is less than ideal. Most bees will travel a mile of less for nectar, pollen, water. Any further than that gets counter productive for the bees.

    How many do you want? I have six and that is plenty for me. The environment supports all six pretty well. The beekeeper drew the line at six. That's enough work for me.

    Tough to give you an answer. All beeking is local. Google maps might give you a better idea of whats around.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: How many hives per yard

    I usually shoot for 20 and then adjust to what works. Some places I have only about 10 to 14 and others I have 28. My home yard gets up around fifty sometimes but it's easier to feed if necessary and I need them for queen rearing.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    piedmont, KS
    Posts
    242

    Default Re: How many hives per yard

    I find that having my hives in my yard, keeps unwanted visitors far away! LOL.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,585

    Re: How many hives per yard

    Depends greatly on forage, but also on your available man power. If you are not going to become commercial, this does not matter at all, but if you foresee several hundred or even thousands of hives in your operation, you may want to place more in each location. We have yards in several states and have found that for the furthest yards we keep several hundred hives and send large crews to inspect and work them all within three or four days per yard... those that are a little closer, yet still far "enough", we keep 55-75. This allows one crew to inspect and work every hive in one day. For the yards that are close enough, we keep between 55-150... these yards can be worked without having the expense of hotels and meals, due to the closeness. And on the other hand we have several mating yards that are out in isolated areas that may only have 20-40 full sized hives, but a few hundred mating nucs. If you are breeding, you will need to consider how many hives you will need to produce enough drones for the number of nucs you will be running. Yet you will still need to keep an eye on foraging resources...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    992

    Default Re: How many hives per yard

    In Ky I usually run 32 to 48. One yard has 24. In Florida the smallest is 48 with most at 100 or more. I currently have over 600 in one yard that was on pepper, which by the way was obtained by someone i met on here. Without beesource I wouldnt have had that yard!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    Default Re: How many hives per yard

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I usually shoot for 20 and then adjust to what works.
    So, what tells you what works? Do you start w/ 20 and then, depending on the crop that year, pare back to 18 and so on? Do you keep 20 at a location for 5 years and then decide? What is the decision process like.

    I set out the number that I like to work at one time. If I need to leave a cpl more pallets, for lack of a yard, I do so. But always an even number of pallets so the load on the truck can be made even when it is time to move the yard.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: How many hives per yard

    The available forage does ultimately set the maximum number of hives that any single location can support, but there are other considerations as well, such as:

    How quickly do you work hives?
    What is your situation at home?
    How far away the location is.

    See - I tend to work hives pretty slowly - I like to check each frame, make notes, record data, etc. Rarely do I just pop the tops, peek in and move on. Also, all my yards are between 6 and 15 miles away - so I have to figure in driving time.

    Why is this important? Well, I have three children (5 years, 18 months and (literally) 4 days old). My wife isn't crazy about me being gone all day on a Saturday messing with bees. Don't misunderstand - she is very supportive of my hobby, she would also just like to see me on the weekends and maybe have me help out with kids when I don't have to be at my job (I know, how unreasonable, right!?).

    I have found that these considerations limit the number of hives in MY yards to 6 max. I can travel to and work six hives comfortably and at my pace in just under 2 hours (average). Since I have a couple of yards, this means that I work bees every weekend, but no yard more often then every other week. Any more than six and I tend to be gone a long time, any less and it almost isn't worth the drive to get to them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default Re: How many hives per yard

    NDnewbeek, children 5yrs. 18 months and 4 days old?? I think i would get more hives. Jack

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: How many hives per yard

    Tell me about it!

    It was tough getting time for the bees when it was just 5 years and 18 months!

    Now it will be impossible! Fortunately, I have plenty of time between now and the spring to put in lots of time that I can 'cash' out for some 'bee time' in the spring!


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: How many hives per yard

    Honey, "I'm going out for awhile, I need some bee time"

    I like it!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Polk Co, NC, USA
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: How many hives per yard

    Congrats on the new little one. What a doll!

    Now all you need is a bee proof baby back pack and you can be getting bonus points WHILE you enjoy your bees......

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: How many hives per yard

    >So, what tells you what works? Do you start w/ 20 and then, depending on the crop that year, pare back to 18 and so on? Do you keep 20 at a location for 5 years and then decide? What is the decision process like.

    I have seven beeyards so if one is not that many, it's a good year and the yard with more does just as well, then maybe the larger number a good number. If it doesn't do as well, maybe that's too many. If the forage is different then it may be different because of that.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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