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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I had planned on just being a hobby beekeeper with 1-2 hives this Spring and doing my best to keep it at a max of 2. I had also planned to keep my hives in town which seems to be a problem so I had to find new locations.

I will be putting one hive up at a friend's house with an additional hive if I get a swarm. I also plan on putting another hive at my grandfather's and will expand up to 4 hives there.

I got a request to put up some hives up at a location about 4 miles from my home. I have agreed to put up two hives and was shown an area about 150 feet long and told I could fill up that area.

What would be an unmanageable number of top bar hives for a single person with one day to work hives?

I have thought about starting with the top bar hives and then starting some foundationless langs.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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I dont know about too many hives, would all depend on what you are doing in the hives ( quick inspection, medicating, etc) and also how far you would have to travel to each yard. Also it would depend on when you "start" your day :).

I have 2 top bar hives and this year I am starting 3 foundationless langs for my out yards, easier to manipluate and much easier to move from yard to winter yard. JMO
 

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The furthest hives would be about 25 miles away. The next closest would be about 15 miles away. The closed would be about 4 miles away.

This would be around trip inspection/management. The largest number of hives would most likely be at the 4 mile site with the second largest group at 25 miles away.

Unless a landowner agreement ends, these would be fixed locations.
 

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I started around 10 horizontal top bar hives and 12 Warre hives this past season at about 6 different sites. If you can avoid multiple sites spread out all over the place, I highly suggest you do. Over the next year I plan to consolidate to fewer sites as I grow my apiary as I've found it overly tedious to drive from one location to another to look at less than 5 hives.

Top bar hives, unlike Warre hives, need significantly more management early on to ensure straight comb building. You'll likely need to be out there every week or every couple weeks over the first month or two to stay on top of this. If you've got the time and the energy, it'll work fine. However, I assure you it will become annoying driving all over the place. :)

Also, make sure that the owner is set on these being permanent locations, as moving a full top bar hive is certainly more difficult than moving a box hive like a Warre or a Lang.

Matt
 

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I'd pput them all in the backyard and not drive so far... I'm sure you can handle twenty or thirty by yourself. But it will eat up a lot of your spare time, depending on how involved you want to get with them.
 
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