How close can I set my hives
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Litchfield, Ct, USA
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    243

    Default How close can I set my hives

    I have a small fenced area in which I anticipated being able to set 4 hives in a row and another 4 in a row in front. I never really considered working them though. So the front four would basically be set maybe two or so feet in front of the back row. Now I think this was a mistake as I'd be directly in front of the back hives as I worked the front hives.

    And thoughts? I don't really want the hive entrances to face each other as it'd be harder to observe from outside the fence, and half the hive entrances would be facing away from the sun for the most part.

    Am I over thinking this?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    Default Re: How close can I set my hives

    Since your post hasn't generated repsonses, here's my $.02

    I believe you have yourself a quandary between what you desire and the reality of your space. I agree, working hives with only two feet of space between additional hives behind isn't the best or advisable, definitely not where I'd go. Nor would I have only two feet of space between entrances facing each other either. I see the realistic options as reduce your expectations on the number of hives or increase the space.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
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    939

    Default Re: How close can I set my hives

    my apiary has a U shape with 45 total hives ( made up of large hives and 4/4/4 nucs) i have probably 12-15 feet between the long side and the fronts of the hives all pointing "out of the U"

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    asheville, north carolina, USA
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    Default

    I am about 2 1/2 feet apart with 4 rows. Wish I had more space but it works.

  6. #5
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    Jun 2015
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    Litchfield, Ct, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eikel View Post
    Since your post hasn't generated repsonses, here's my $.02

    I believe you have yourself a quandary between what you desire and the reality of your space. I agree, working hives with only two feet of space between additional hives behind isn't the best or advisable, definitely not where I'd go. Nor would I have only two feet of space between entrances facing each other either. I see the realistic options as reduce your expectations on the number of hives or increase the space.
    Yeah, I definitely screwed up planning. I could have easily given myself more room, but now I don't feel like pulling up the electric fence posts that I spent so much energy on hammering into the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post
    my apiary has a U shape with 45 total hives ( made up of large hives and 4/4/4 nucs) i have probably 12-15 feet between the long side and the fronts of the hives all pointing "out of the U"
    Interesting. I'm not sure if I have enough room, but I'm definitely going to consider it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ncbeez View Post
    I am about 2 1/2 feet apart with 4 rows. Wish I had more space but it works.
    Do you work hives from behind? My 4 hives are very close together, so working them from the side aren't really an option.

  7. #6
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    Aug 2015
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    asheville, north carolina, USA
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    Default

    I work them from behind unless I am treating them with OAV.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    Default Re: How close can I set my hives

    While you're mulling over options inside the fence; also consider, handling, stacking and transporting loaded supers
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Triadelphia, West Virginia
    Posts
    580

    Default

    "Yeah, I definitely screwed up planning. I could have easily given myself more room, but now I don't feel like pulling up the electric fence posts that I spent so much energy on hammering into the ground."


    Use a floor jack and a pipe wrench to easily pull your t posts out. Pipe wrench on the t post and the jack under the wrench. Pump right out effortlessly. If more room is available it is your best option. You would only have to move one side of your enclosure so probably only a few posts .

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
    Posts
    794

    Default Re: How close can I set my hives

    FWIW .... I read an article in a European mag the other day, comparing hives perched on even stands, close to each other, and all painted white versus hives kept a # of feet apart, of different colors and at varying heights. Results: honey production, drawing, populations and overall health were all significantly better in the latter group than the former. Food-for-thought.

    My stands are all only ~1' above ground and are adjacent (mostly), but at least I have the hive bodies all painted different colors. No problems this year.

    The article seemed to imply that drift -- from bees returning from foraging and accidentally wandering into nearby hives -- was a major problem (diseases, esp).

    I don't recall how the researchers accounted for variables, but they did.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    446

    Default Re: How close can I set my hives

    I use 2 way pallets. Usually set 6 pallets inside a 16'x16' "pen" in cow pastures. I prefer about 4-5' between pallets in all directions. Hate it when I set them 2' side to side. Won't ever set them closer than 4' front to back.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    After the fact, I always know what didn't work.

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