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Space between hives

5004 Views 30 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
I'm adding a second hive this spring. The first hive is on a few cinder blocks and I like having it a little off the ground. I plan on placing the second hive near the first and would like to put both hives on planks running between cinder block risers, leaving space between the hives to place supers while I inspect, etc. I'm thinking of getting 6 1/2 foot planks so that I can comfortably place a hive near each end leaving a couple of feet in between. Any thoughts on this plan? Is the spacing adequate? Should I worry about drifting or robbing? I've read a little about marking hives with geometric designs or colors. It sounds intriguing but does it really matter?

As always...thanks!
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(It doesn't matter.) Interesting concept. Is that the same as "It doesn't matter to me"?

I'll suggest (for me) that it does matter for a number of small reasons. Each person should determine if its worth it to them.

1) Yes, there is a reason why queen producers paint their nucs different colors and place them in a random fashion. Because queens do in fact sometimes get confused. And if they land on the wrong entrance, they will be killed. I suppose you could suggest that your good enough to never have a hive swarm or supercede without your knowledge, which of course I would snicker, as most would.

Sure, do some need to have the hives palletized. And so hives are naturally kept next to each other for some beekeepers. But if your not moving hives for migratory needs, why have them slid up against each other?

2)There is considerable drift, not only in regards to drones, but with workers also. Seperation of hives taking into account this drift will have a couple of things to keep in mind.

Drifting bees are normally not challenged if they are foragers bringing back nectar and pollen. Bees coming straight into the hive are usually not challenged. Gaurd bees see bees heavy with a load, unwavering in their approach, and give a pass for entry. Not always, but usually. Bees on orientation flights, discharging waste, and other flights, may not be so lucky. The more a hive feels challenged, the more defensive they can become. This adds to the agressiveness of the hive in dealing with another hive slid right up next to the next.

3)If a hive does develope some problems with afb, or another desease, I want time to react and take care of the problem. With spacing, the desease transfer between hives can be at a slower rate due to less drifting, etc. I would rather have problems go through an apiary on a slow rate, rather than whole apiaries being effected much faster.

4) I just feel better working hives seperated. I have more room and do less reaching, bending, and stumbling over whatever. If a hive is a little bothered, I can work the next hive and one hive does not set off the next. I think its much more enjoyable for whatever reason to have hives at least a few feet in seperation.

Unless there is a reason or need for the hives to be palletized, I see no benefit of having them slid together, except for wintering. Which I do not do for full size hives anyways.

In the wild, hives are seperated by natural habitat. Few colonies would be next to each other on a scale we keep bees. We assume bees can always find the right entrance. Bees never needed this precise ability in the wild.

Less drift, less challenged or defensive bees, easier to work, slower desease transfer. I could say "it does matter" but will say instead, "it matters to me." You decide for yourself.

[ February 19, 2007, 07:02 AM: Message edited by: BjornBee ]
 

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Pugs
>>>"So how far apart are your hives and what are the orientations?"

I try to orient my hives with a southeastern direction. There are always times when this is not feasible, but I try as circunstances dictate.

I have hives in all ways you could think of. Most are sitting on pallets, hives stands, etc. I will space as much as room allows, or group them by two's. (But always with a space between) Its really not something I can follow completely as each yard is different. But its something I am aware of, and adjust as it allows me, with regards to room, equipment, and space, etc.

My breeder hives/nucs are all painted various colors and arranged in a scattered pattern. I do have one yard where they a little more arranged with about ten nucs in a row, painted different colors and grouped two or three, a large space and a couple more, and so on. The rows are seperated by perhaps 10 or 15 feet.

The worst you can do, is place hives side by side, in long rows, all painted the same color. Anything else would be considered a plus.
 

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MB, I did cover this a little further in the post if you would read a little further. I said...

"Unless there is a reason or need for the hives to be palletized, I see no benefit of having them slid together, except for wintering."

I think the original post had this question asked in regards to summertime conditions. See "drifting, robbing, etc.". If your having these problems at 40 below, I would quit hitting th hard stuff.

Of course, one's summertime equipment setup could be different from wintertime setup. This whole notion of having all the hives against each other in regards to overwintering, and not distinguishing the pitfalls the rest of the year is interesting. I can point out all the benefits of having them spread out, but will always have someone say "What about when its 40 below!" Next time I answer this, I'll add this to my normal points, so maybe we can forego this everytime.

MB said "Mine are all touching each other." in regards to space.

Do you keep them like that all year?

[ February 19, 2007, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: BjornBee ]
 

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Extreme. Over the top. Asinine. Misdirected energy. Antagonistic. Overly self conscience. I'm at a loss Jim. Not sure which applies, or maybe they all do.

I'm sometimes absolutely flabbergasted by your responses. I little comment, really harmless, and meaning no harm...and a response including statistics overview, post breakdown, a full blown rebuttal,....I don't know what to say.

Maybe number of posts is just one angle Jim. Maybe I have lots of posts, because I help alot of people. Hardly could say thats "nothing better to do".

If you would want to do a breakdown Jim, how about this. Compare my last 50 posts, to yours. See how many of mine were directed in conversation towards helping someone else, in beekeeping. And then look at yours. (Yes, even the ones changed or deleted for posts of klansmen comments, white hoods, and personal attacks.)

Seems lately most of your posts have been arguing some definition of a word that one person happened to use to your disliking, more posts about calling beesource members ignorant and suggesting membership in the klan - for the mere misqouting of history, and then the whole, "I'll spend all day arguing with Joe".....should I go on?

You can call me any cooking device in the kitchen...but your not even in the same room! Get a grip. (For the sake of all the beesource members, including me!)

[ February 20, 2007, 06:48 AM: Message edited by: BjornBee ]
 
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