The minimum distance would be touching each other. They will soon figure out which side of the entrance is theirs.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?