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Distance between hives?

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Yup I realize the simple answer is more is better, but...what would you consider the minimum distance between hives?

Right now I have them spaced in something of a triangle about 6-7 feet apart with the entrances facing different directions. Only one is active, still waiting for package and nuc coming soon, very soon I hope since the maple is flowing big time! Where they are is to maximize the morning sun while allowing for semi shade during what poses as hot summer suns for us here in Olympia WA. The location also provides excellent protection from winter winds courtesy of very mature 50-100 foot doug fir trees.

Would you consider 6-7 foot too close as in potential for future robbing, especially given 2 of them will be behind the active hive now which is an over-wintered hive?
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Yup I realize the simple answer is more is better, but...what would you consider the minimum distance between hives?

Right now I have them spaced in something of a triangle about 6-7 feet apart with the entrances facing different directions. Only one is active, still waiting for package and nuc coming soon, very soon I hope since the maple is flowing big time! Where they are is to maximize the morning sun while allowing for semi shade during what poses as hot summer suns for us here in Olympia WA. The location also provides excellent protection from winter winds courtesy of very mature 50-100 foot doug fir trees.

Would you consider 6-7 foot too close as in potential for future robbing, especially given 2 of them will be behind the active hive now which is an over-wintered hive?
The minimum distance would be touching each other. They will soon figure out which side of the entrance is theirs.
 

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Would you consider 6-7 foot too close as in potential for future robbing, especially given 2 of them will be behind the active hive now which is an over-wintered hive?
That distance would be superb. Drifting between hives appears to be very much sub-species dependent - Carnies being much better at 'homing-in' than Italians.

A few years back I did an experiment with 8 nucleus colonies in a row, and found that 12-14" was the minimum spacing before significant drifting took place. That's spacing between entrance holes, not spacing between the boxes themselves. So - with an 18" wide box (which is our 'standard') - the boxes can indeed be touching - but only if they have central-(ish) holes, which is how I run them. With full-width slots (the 'standard' entrance format), they really need to be spaced apart by at least a foot.

Robbing - unfortunately - is quite independent of distance. Even spacing hives a 1/4 of a mile apart won't stop it. But - anti-robbing screens will - they're highly recommended. :)
LJ
 
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