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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hartwell, GA
    Posts
    183

    Default How many hives will an urban area support ?

    I'm aware there are many variables but using your imagination what's your opinion ? In a location with no major crops within 3 miles and only gardens, the occasional fruit tree, shrubs and such for forage, what number of hives will the area support ? I ask simply because when I increase above six hives I always end up with the same honey crop, just less per hive. More variables but consider they are all about equal in strength.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,587

    Default Re: How many hives will an urban area support ?

    Six.



    OK, that was a smart... answer, but the exercise you have gone thru is the best way to answer the question.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    2,031

    Default Re: How many hives will an urban area support ?

    start with 10, most areas can support that many, and then adjust after the first year. I always go with small yards, as the bad years seem more frequent than the good.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: How many hives will an urban area support ?

    I like to keep 4 to 5 hives in my area but my home yard usually will have more. The numbers will change when I start making up nucs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: How many hives will an urban area support ?

    When I had bees in town I never had more than seven hives (and some of those were usually nucs). It wasn't a matter of forage, just the density of bees in the area for my neighbors. If no one near had hives (and no one did then) I think I could have had 20 and they would have thrived...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,538

    Default Re: How many hives will an urban area support ?

    Urban environment is weird, but has some advantages:
    - normally, we do not have much pesticides (as far as I know);
    - there is plenty of water;
    - we have a lot of blooming trees at any given moment! I do not know exactly, but it seems to me, that one single blooming tree is equal, perhaps to acre of clover... My bees were working a single eucalyptus large tree for about a month. They also love neighboring community gardens. My bees are not interested in my own blooming fruit trees - I guess, it means, they have a better source...

    When we are talking about EHB land "capacity", we always need to remember about native pollinators - we need to leave a space for them also.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,020

    Default Re: How many hives will an urban area support ?

    Try this number:
    Take your annual rainfall in inches and divide it by 3.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    477

    Default Re: How many hives will an urban area support ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Try this number:
    Take your annual rainfall in inches and divide it by 3.
    How did you come up with this? I've never heard it before.
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,992

    Default Re: How many hives will an urban area support ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Try this number:
    Take your annual rainfall in inches and divide it by 3.
    No, no no. I take the size of my brain and multiply it by three. Seven times 3 equals 21. I have had as many as 42, but that gave me a headache.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,020

    Default Re: How many hives will an urban area support ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmiller View Post
    How did you come up with this? I've never heard it before.
    It has got to be as good as any other guess.
    I took our annual rainfall and picked a divisor that would result is about 15 hives. It seems to me that rainfall is a major contributor to honey production not knowing what vegetation would be around an apiary.
    Obviously with a city like Las Vegas the number would not work because they are stealing someone else's rainfall.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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