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Thread: Hive spaceing

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    benton Co, Indiana
    Posts
    7

    Default Hive spaceing

    Can anyone help with this question? What is the ideal distance to place hives from each other. How close can they be to each other. I have lots of room in my side yard in our orchard. I want to place them so as to be able to work them with out too much walking between the hives. I started this year with 2 hives now i have 3 hives after one hive split and i will add more next year.
    Thank you for any advice you can give.


    Ken in Benton Co, Ind

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Hive spaceing

    Some people have them touching on all sides. I also just started this year. Started with 10 and between swarms/cutouts/splits and going into winter with 23. I experimented with several setups as I wanted to learn alot this year to see how I wanted things.

    What I came up with that I like is all hives are on stands that hold 2 hives with six inches between them. All the stands leave 3 ft between them so I can go between and work all hives form the side. To save space in the yard for nucs I built stands that hold 4 touching. I have no problem working these from the back and these stands are also 3ft from eah other so I can easily move between them when needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Default Re: Hive spaceing

    Mine are all touching. Can't get any closer... the laws of physics being what they are...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Hive spaceing

    I have spaced mine at about 3 feet apart for three years, but I have seen a setup that I like which is all the hives right up next to each other, and every three hives facing a different direction. Three north, three south, three north, three south, etc. I may try that soon, say next year maybe.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,673

    Default Re: Hive spaceing

    Tom Seeley (Cornell) shared some preliminary data from a study he is doing on Varroa drift between hives. He was placing hives, in pairs, with each pair several hundred yards apart.

    I don't have enough space in my bee yard to space hives that far apart, but I think I will try setting pairs 20-30 yards apart to see if that helps. My yard needs to be enclosed by an electric fence thanks to bears and I'll need a new and larger fence before I can try this out.

    My pairs are generally 3-6 inches apart (enough space so I can get the top off and work the hive), I'll push the hives up against each other for winter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,297

    Default Re: Hive spaceing

    As far apart as you are comfortable with, or as close together as you need, in order for them to fit in the space you have available.

    We're presently on 0.98 acre and have about fifty colonies (many are nucs or mating nucs), with plans for hundreds more. I don't, however, plan to keep that many in one place for long, but to distribute them across several other yards/apiaries I have planned. Our, 'almost an acre', is right on the Northern edge of Saguaro National Park, West - so there is an extremely large natural area of agriculture-free forage. Some forage is usually available, year-'round, with flows after each period with more than modest rainfall, and a major flow from mesquite with or without rain.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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