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From "The Beekeeper's Handbook" regarding hive orientation: "The hives within a pair should be 6-8 inches apart (15-20 cm), and there should be 5-8 feet (1.5-2.4 m) between pairs. This spacing minimizes vibrations and jostling while working a colony but keeps the hives close enough together to make work more efficient." The authors have other recommendations to reduce drifting like placing hive pairs in a horseshoe configuration. It's not a bad book -- one of 3 I've been referring to as I familiarize myself with beekeeping.
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