It really depends on the area and how much forage is available.
3 hours?????From what I have read..... Bees will forage up to 3 or so miles, 5 miles in a dearth. I have also seen in a good area one can have 40-50 hives.
So if you have like 10 hives or less then a mile or 2 is fine. to get into "new" forage I would think 6 miles from other Apiarys would be plenty.
Distance is rarely a consideration for me, fyi, unless you are 100% sure no other hives are there.
Here are some things I tend to consider.
- drive in close even when wet, you need to bring in and out supers , Wooden ware, bees, etc.
-water nearby , bees need water
-vandalism, be nice if the place was gated, out of sight etc
-bears next to a big swamp may not be optimal.
- wind break , if open windy area,,, do you plan to winter there?
-forage,, ideally not a lot of large crop fields, Hay, pasture, is Ok, but if the area is 80% corn , beans, wheat, oats etc, then forage is just not consistently there.
I like oldish farm setting, semi not in production, next to a creek bottom, maples , basswoods, sumac and other tree sources of pollen and nectar, some open fields nearby that once was pasture. Non production is less spraying. creek is water and dry condition blooms, and trees are wind breaks.
Be choosy if you can. I have one Apiary 3 hour drive from where I live, I always have liked that spot.
Sounds like a 2nd home. That makes more sense than just having an out apiary 3 hours awayOld farm went abandoned, I hunted it a few times, in my youth.
Has One of my Uncles owning 2 sides of it, (north and west) It is 80 Acres. My Aunt can see the drive way out her window, I get called when a strange car goes into it.
When It came for sale I bought it, Rec property , hunting, camping, mushrooming, X countrysking.
Has springs coming out of hillsides, small creek. Maples , Basswoods, Lots of Autumn Olive.
1/4 mile away is 2 or 3 hay large fields, the farmers up there are too poor to buy lots of sprays so they just cut and bale. often a very nice 3rd cutting bloom in late Aug, helping to use the large field force, during a normal dearth.
I built a bee shed for winter protection for the hives.
In the open areas there is now 30 or so apple trees, for early bloom. Several clover food plots. bigger creek bottom 1 mile away, with willow, dogwoods etc.
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