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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default How close is to close for hives?

    I have a hive stand that may fit 3 hits next to each other. Wondering if there is some best practice on how close you can put them next to each other.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Platteville, WI
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    I'm not sure but I think they can be right next to each other wth no problems. Many, if not all, of the pollinator hives appear to be that way. My original thought was that space would be good... but in winter, at least up here, I wonder if there would be a heat conservation benefit of keeping them side by side...

    I'm looking forward to the experienced beekeepers to weigh in on this one.
    "Life will find a way - it always finds a way." -Jurassic Park (MOVIE/BOOK)
    USDA Zone 5a

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lake County, Indiana
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    Most of mine are within 4 inches of each other. Works well for me. I have some off by themselves. I see no distinct difference in production. I like them closer, it gives me somewhere to set my tools

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    Commercial beekeepers have 4 or 6 hives / pallet and they are pressed together with entrances as far apart as possible.
    Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    The only time you have to worry about how close they are is when installing new packages the will drift sometimes and you will have to change posations to equelize them other than that NO probolemo
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, California
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    If they are closer than touching, you have a problem.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    I keep mine a minimum of 1/4" apart- that being the width of the divider in my double nuc boxes containing 2 colonies each.

    I wouldn't hesitate to push boxes tightly next to each other with migratory tops on them if I had a reason to do so.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    >How close is to close for hives?

    There is no such thing.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmisc.htm#hivestand
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    I put 4 hives on an 8' hive stand (two by fours) and there is about 10" between them. Sometimes I have problems getting frames loose with my "J-hook" hive tool on the outside edges of the inner hives. The hives just don't have enough space between them for me to jack those obstinate frames loose. Working the hives from behind helps keep the bees a little more calm.

    As for the bees, they seem to be just fine.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO www.createspace.com/4044187
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,838

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    Put them whatever distance you need to put them, to do whatever you need to do. They don't care.

    I like mine far enough apart that I can remove the boxes for inspections and/or working them, and have room to set the others boxes aside. Just for convenience.

    Monroe.jpg

    Stovall.jpg

    cchoganjr

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,690

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    I'm with Cleo on this one. It's awfully convenient to be able to set a removed box down on the stand, in between the other colonies. If you have the room to spare.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    Like Cleo, IMHO the bigger consideration is maintenance. Four on a pallet allows access from two adjacent sides. Three in a row up against each other means you'll be working the middle one from only one short side and reaching to the other.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    I have 10 hives within spittin distance of my porch.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,382

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    During the blackberry flow I had 17 on my front steps.


    . Now wife was not exactly thrilled.
    Last edited by EastSideBuzz; 01-04-2013 at 09:11 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: How close is to close for hives?

    The entrances need to be far enough apart so the bees can find home. The width of a box is enough. You may get drifting to the end hives if you have a long row, bees can only count to three.

    Peter

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