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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bryan, TX
    Posts
    112

    Default How many hives per acre?

    I have between one and two acres of cultivated blackberries. How hany hives can I put on it and get the best yield of honey?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    Well, that's hard to say, but since bees will typtically fly up to two miles away for forage (and further if need be), I doubt it would really matter that much.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,906

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    A couple hives would not hurt. Whether or not they dine on an acreage that small will depend on what the surroundings have to offer.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,114

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    In some partys of SC I know apiaries that contain a tractor trailer load. They do fine.

    Up here in NY, apiaries are sometimes as large as 60 hives.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    If you would like to increase your blackberry yield then you could add more colonies to help out with pollination. As far as honey yield, an acre or two of blackberries really will not make much of a difference in your honey crop. There may be a slight tick up from blackberry forage but most of the collected nectar overall would probably be coming from many different sources.
    To everything there is a season....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,822

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    Close crops benefit most from bees on their intitial trips out to forage. If that source is not rich enough they tend to enlarge their radius of activity looking for better forage. At least that is what Morse wrote in the ABJ a million years ago and he was a pretty smart guy. That is a generality because different cultivars produce varying amounts of nectar.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    You wont see any significant increase in honey from an acre or two, as everyone else stated whether or not they produce a honey yield will be based on what forage is within 2-3 miles of the area...but the bees will help increase your crop yield. Reminds me a few year ago a friend/small scale beekeeper who sells some retail honey decided to take his 25 hives to orange blossom and at the end of the bloom called me and asked my average per hive on the bloom which was about 60lbs...he said his hives did not put on anything. I asked how big a grove he put his 25 hives in and he stated "A BIG ONE, WITH 50 TREES"...not quite big enough for a honey yield on 25 hives...but I bet that grove yielded a bunch of fruit that year!
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Bartow,FL<USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    I live in Polk county & even though the citrus industry has declined , big groves are measured in square miles, not acres

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    I don't think it'll make a differance in more honey. But, for pollination. I was reading the FAO website this morning and they recommend 5 hives per two hectares. This comes out to around one hive per acre, but that's pollinating African farms.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    Evaluating Honey Bee Colonies for Pollination

    Here is an interesting article about bee polination. They list 2.5 hives per acre for blackberries.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    IMHO, the question should be, how many hives are needed on one or two acres of blueberry plants to get the best yield of blueberries? I doubt one or two acres of blueberries will make a harvestable crop of blueberry honey, but they are your bees and your blueberries so knock yourself out.

    I have seen claims for honeybee foraging areas all the way from ½ mile up to 7 miles in radius. The former number would result in a foraging area of a little more than 800 acres or 1.25 square miles, and the latter figure (7 miles) would result in a foraging area of around 153 square miles or a little less than 100,000 acres. Like almost everything else in life I think the truth lies somewhere in between.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,906

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    In my experience... a rather large acreage of blue berries is necessary to get them to pollinate just the blue berries... else they fly off to something more attractive. And it seems to me that most anything is more attractive to a bee than a blue berry. Without a really large large acreage (200 acres?)... they just fly over them on their way to the maple trees... which are blooming at the same time down here....
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: How many hives per acre?

    I always plant our watermelons in a field that is surrounded by alfalfa so when the watermelons bloom I have the alfalfa cut. The trick is to try to have the alfalfa blooming before the watermelons bloom, that way when you cut the alfalfa the bees will focus on the watermelons for a day or two. Also, there is typically a dearth at the time when the melons bloom so there may be an added focus by bees on the melon blooms... but I doubt it. In the past we put 1 hive/acre of melons and we have also put 1/2 hive/acre and there is no noticable change in yeild at the time of harvest. I wouldn't expect a surplus of honey being made from watermelon blossoms though.

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