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Discussion Starter #1
I live about a mile from a major commercial bee operation. He sells hundreds of nucs and is a major pollinator on the west coast. His home base is close. Just his honey contracts are $250,000 a year.

My question is...is there a saturation point of bee's in a given area? Will I be more prone to swarming? Will I have to feed more than if be wasn't around? We live on the edge of an industrial forest of Douglas Fir. Some weeds in clear cuts, but not a lot of crops nearby. Mostly weeds and blackberries. Lots of grasses and fir trees.
 

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My question is...is there a saturation point of bee's in a given area?
Yes an area will only support so many colonies. If you only plan to have a couple, it likely won't matter. Bees will forage a 2 mile radius, if the area between you and him is saturated, they should hopefully be able to find something in the opposite direction.

Will I be more prone to swarming?
No, the number of colonies in an area has no impact on swarming. However, you likely have a decent chance of catching swarms from him if you put up some traps.

Will I have to feed more than if be wasn't around? We live on the edge of an industrial forest of Douglas Fir. Some weeds in clear cuts, but not a lot of crops nearby. Mostly weeds and blackberries. Lots of grasses and fir trees.
I think the short answer is yes, you will likely have to feed more and will make less honey than if he wasn't there. On the other hand, if you only plan to have a couple of colonies, it may not make a difference at all. You could always go and talk to him. See how many colonies he has at the home yard and whether or not he has any other yards near you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know him pretty well. I'll talk to him. I'd buy bees from him, but he only sells nucs and I want to do top bar hives.
 

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I know him pretty well.
Now that's an understatement. You know how much money he makes from honey. Seems like pretty personal information to me. But I know what you mean. I just wondered how you know what he makes? Did he tell you?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Told me a few years ago when we were talking business. Drop in the bucket compared to his other stuff. California almonds, etc.
 
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