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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    257

    Question Advice on plans for 2013

    Because my neighbour may still try to get the powers that be to prohibit hives in our neighbourhood back yard, I searched around for outyard space, and was successful.

    Because I figure not all those offers will, for one reason or another, work out, I will likely put bees on 4 or 5 of the locations, two hives each.

    Now, I am pretty green at all this and so have a question for you all:

    What hints, tips, advice, cautions or wisdom do you have on the topic of expanding your apiary???

    Regards,
    Janet

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Saguache,Colorado,usa
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    my advice is just move the bees at night and preferably in a pickup. After you arrive at your destination just sit and relax for a while. Give them a little bit to calm down. happy beekeeping

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,059

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    My advice is to plan your hive increase and have all equipment ready going into Spring. Since I make all my woodenware from scrap pine boards, I've spent far too much time in the shop cutting and assembling boxes, screened bottom boards and covers during time I should have been out working bees (or working in the garden.)

    I'm currently winterizing the shop so I can get work done longer into Winter and earlier in Spring and have no excuse to be caught without available equipment when I catch that swarm or find hives crying out to be split. My goal is to be stocked well in advance and not spend a minute of daylight in the shop next season.

    The D-Coates 5-frame plywood nucs (plans available on Beesource) are invaluable to me, for using as swarm traps, for moving frames of bees or frames with queen-cells from one yard to another, and of course, as nucs. Try to always have some of these around. I've made dozens of them from scrap plywood. They're simple to build and if you don't have the tools or scrap plywood handy, almost any basement carpenter could knock a few of these out for you in no time.

    There are lots of other things to mention, but key to my expansion plans is to increase making July nucs and raising my own queens.

    Oh, and make sure those 4 or 5 yards are not too far apart. The traveling gets old fast. I'm thinking of dropping my farthest yard because it is 18 miles past the next to last and I can only keep 10 hives there. It's in a good yielding area and I'll keep it if I can find a place for another yard nearby.

    Wayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    Get it on paper.
    1. Terms if any
    2. Liability, yours and his
    3. Access or tresspass agreement
    4. Apiary size? how many hives can you have?

    Don't know about way up north but down here in the lower 48 you would be exempt (in most places) if you had bees before the law/ordanance passed

    Good luck. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    I have 11 hives on 8 outyards this year, and will expand to 18 hives on 12 outyards next year. I have never had to seek outyard locations as I have people seeking me out. I treat my outyard property owners with a generous portion of the honey from their hive, keep the hive and surrounding area looking pristine (no junk left lying around, hive boxes in good repair and all painted the same color), and involve them in the initial hive siting. I also make sure that they know that if they ever decide they don't want a hive on their land anymore, I will have it removed within 24 hours (I have never had to do this). In general, I find that people are interested in honeybees and honeybee colony behavior, they enjoy "micro-local" honey from their own property, but are just not interested in being beekeepers themselves.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,023

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    I would keep 4 at each location. Having resources from just two hive isn't always enough.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,429

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    I'll second Mbeck's suggestion. Increase the number of hives at each site and cut your locations in half. You can spend more time with the bees rather than wasting time holding the steering wheel between apiaries. If a location is not productive with more than 2 colonies then it's time to find a new spot for them. Have some extra space cleared and ready for additional hives at each site. It will come in handy for spits or those swarms that seem to hit you all at once in the spring.
    To everything there is a season....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,403

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    I concur with others responses, keep the amount of out yards to a minimum. Put as many hives as you are allowed in each out yard. If you have two hives here and two hives there, you will spend a fortune in gas and eventually you will find it to be a pain in the butt and will start to lose interest.

    I had three locations this year with 4 at one, 2 at another and 4 at another. All of them were 25-30 minutes from my house. I had to make the rounds after work (hives are in the same town as I work) which took atleast an hour if I didnt have to to do anything other than a quick check and that would put me smack dab into a heavy commute home. I went from checking them weekly to every other week, and the yards were 7 miles apart. I ended up moving 4 hives back into the yard with the other four hives which cut a lot of travel time and provided more hands on time instead, which I enjoy a lot more!!

    Remember, keep it as simple as possible so you can dedicate more time to the bees instead of the windshield!!

    Goodluck with your endevour!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,397

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    I have six yards in the Bay Area with a minimum of four hives per yard. They are all close to freeway exits so I can get all the hives inspected in one day with plenty of resources in each yard. I don't have anything in writing but the property owners are all good friends of mine so I don't think it's necessary.

    I don't think I'd put hives on someones property I didn't know without a written agreement.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    Hi Janet, like you, I am also expanding next year.
    Three new locations starting with two hives in each yard.
    The new yards are almost in a 3 to 5 mile radius around the home yard and I'm regularly near all of them.
    A couple of Nucs will be placed in each yard as support staff for the main colonies.
    I've started spreading the word around that I will take swarms so extra equipment will be kept on hand just in case.

    Will also use the Coates plans to build lots of Nuc bottoms and several supers to go with each. http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...oates-version/

    Am going to buy this stapler for assembling the woodenware: http://www.amazon.com/Factory-Recond...+crown+stapler
    And a Wagner paint sprayer for all the painting that needs to be done.
    Last edited by Allen; 10-13-2012 at 10:44 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    Also, dont give in to your neighbour. Its your property you should be able to do what you want with it, the same as they should.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    If it currently is not illegal to keep your bees in your yard now, your beekeeping rights will be grandfathered in if they change the law after. If you notice a discussion about changing the bee bylaw in your community notify your local bylaw (probably animal control) that you already have them on your property and will not be removing them. Same as when city boundaries grow to include surrounding farms, they can't make the farmer get rid of his livestock and in Canada bees are considered agricultural livestock. Several beekeepers in our city
    have been keeping bees for more years than the bylaw has existed. And I am sure more than the bylaw guys know about too.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lee County, Illinois
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    I have a great location for some yards, im gonna condense all my hives (20) plus a couple nucs, into one yard to lesson driving this next season.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    Oh thankyou all so much for the wonderful advice! I had planned to have a signed agreement but had not thought of a removal clause...definitely will add that. What terms do you use in your written agreements?
    Anyone got a sample to post??

    And what is your usual split of the honey crop? I had thought 60% for me, 30% for the host.

    I am a bit concerned about the distances as well. But I have told all my yard people that we will try things out for 2013, and if I find it does not work for me, I will back off. Most of them will likely buy the hives at cost if things go well. So I figure I will just try out my beekeeping circuit for 2013 and re-evaluate at summer's end. I am continuing my search for good beeyard space much closer to home base.

    I will change my plans and put 4 hives at the two better places. I found two farmers with 20 acre parcels who have nice, secluded back woodlots that I can set up in. Both of those guys can sell the honey too. One has a farm stand that is manned all summer, the other has an urban farmer client list and they will all be interested in buying local clean honeys as well (and will pay more particularly if my packaging is elegant...)!

    There is increasing concern locally about thefts. Spreading the yards out minimizes the chance I will lose my entire beeyard at one fell swoop (disease, ditto). Although there must be a special circle in hell for people who steal bees and hives. That has to earn you some seriously bad karma...

    Now that I have some confirmed spaces, I will devote the winter to gearing up. There will be an assembly and painting station in the garage!

    Please keep the suggestions coming. Total noob here.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    I give somewhere between 10% and 20% to the landowner, depending somewhat on hive productivity. I want to make sure that each landowner has an ample supply of honey from their own hive. One other thing to consider is the temperament of each colony. I have moved or re-queened colonies that I judged to be too aggressive, I only want gentle bees on someone else's property.

    Many of the hive hosts have other agriculture going on, so I get nice fresh local items from them in return for the honey. Some of my hosts are also interested in beeswax, so I give them part of my harvest of this as well.

    As far as driving, yes it does take time and fuel, but it also brings me out into some of the nicest rural areas in south-central Wisconsin.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,202

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    >>What terms do you use in your written agreements?
    Anyone got a sample to post??

    dont sign an agreement. I have 30 yards or so and they are all on verbal agreement. If they do not want the bees anymore, I take them away. Simple as that. your not paying to use the land, we beekeepers work on good faith.
    I do however pay honey for the use of each yard
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,397

    Default Re: Advice on plans for 2013

    The nice thing about spreading out your yards a bit is that you can catch year round flows (in California anyway) if you plan right.

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