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Newby Question

1410 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  GaryC3
Hello everyone. I am looking to getting into beekeeping and actually went to Brushy Mtn Bee Farm here in NC and bought a Bee Suit, the beginners kit and a book about Hive Management. I have got the hive body painted and getting things ready to go and was looking for a place to put the hive. Walking behind the house around a wooded area and about 100 yards behind my house is 6 bee hives that a neighbor owns. I was shocked to find these and did not know they were there. Does this mean That I should not go ahead with a couple hives ? Will this be to many bees for the area ?
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Neat! You got beekeeping neighbors!

I'd certainly go ahead with your plans to get a couple of hives. If there are too many bees in the area, you'll know soon enough- you may have to feed them from time to time- you may need to anyways, depending on the season. I would not let a few hives nearby stop you from getting involved in this facinating activity, but I would mindful of the possibility of robbing, disease/pest transmission, etc. If you ask around, you'll probably find even more hives.

You should meet your neighbor. You've got something in common with them

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Most likely there is enough forage for more than 6 hives in the area.
Not knowing the area and forage thou, my advice would be to introduce yourself to your neighbor and discuss his hives, your plans and the area.
You may find someone who is willing to help and be a source of information.
If you search the members list under location, there looks to be at least 5 local beekeepers on this forum.

[ October 21, 2005, 05:13 PM: Message edited by: MountainCamp ]
I agree.....and it's a good thing you are going with new equipment, especially for a newbie [very important], I did the same this year and don't regret!
Learn about diseases and talk to your neighbor, that you want to learn all about it and if he don't mind, you can look into he's hives at inspection time and he can point out a few things.
It is better to work together than against, this way, everyone is happy, knowing all the hives are disease free.

When I was taking bee classes this year, the teacher was talking about the least amount of diseases in the Country, Australia or New Zeeland?..not sure anymore exatly, is because they have a law, that each bee keeper can, or has to look into he's closest neighbors bee hives, to make sure, he or she has "clean" hives.
I wouldn't mind, to see a law like this in place in USA and CANADA

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Get at least two hives and have at least one set of equipment for a hive to spare.
Just as a direct answer to your question, if your neighbor has 6 hives and you have two (are you catching everyone's suggestion here) I know of no reasonable area outside of Death Valley that won't support 8 hives. The bad areas around Colorado here will only support about 20 and there's a lot of debate about that.

Best of luck.

I could only wish I was lucky enough to have a beekeeping neighbor close by. My first year was tough enough with basically only this forum for answers and guidance. I'm sure your neighbor will be more than willing to let you tag along and learn from their wisdom. Heck, might even save you the cost of bees this spring by giving you a nuc when he splits....that way he's also protecting his investment because he knows where your bees came from and their health background. Good luck and the first sting is the worst part..after that everything is gravy.

I have known this neighbor for 15 years and never knew he had bees. I will catch up with him and look over his setup. Thanks for all the info. I will continue to become a soon to bee - beekeeper
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