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Old 4th November 2010, 09:01 PM   #1
wightbees
 
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Default How many hives

How many colonys of bees can a area support. I know this is a bit of give and take due to the area but there must be a rough guide that beeks use?
I have read that OSR for example is 4 per acre.
But how about general country side and towns ?
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Old 4th November 2010, 09:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wightbees View Post
How many colonys of bees can a area support. I know this is a bit of give and take due to the area but there must be a rough guide that beeks use?
I have read that OSR for example is 4 per acre.
But how about general country side and towns ?
4 per acre is absolutely too much. Osr blooms 2 weeks, and if it is rainy weather you get nothing. Your yield period is 4 month or what? - what you harvest 10 weeks?

If you want honey yield, australians have reseached that 1 hive per 2 hectares is good.
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Old 4th November 2010, 09:24 PM   #3
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I can't quote any sources except that several experienced beeks have told me the optimum is 6 per site.

One of the reasons being that any more encourages drifting, another said that's the max. for forage collection within a local area.

Others will no doubt have different views.
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Old 4th November 2010, 09:28 PM   #4
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I have lent my Hooper book to someone but i am sure he quotes 4 to a acre for OSR in the back in the flower types section.Can anyone check for me ?
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Old 4th November 2010, 09:32 PM   #5
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I think you can only answer this by trial and error. Every area will be different.
I have a minimum of 15 hives per site, no hives are moved, and because there are no other beeks in the areas covered Yields are reliably above the average. Some of the apiaries are only 2kms apart.
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Old 4th November 2010, 09:34 PM   #6
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Page 228.
Colony density 2 -3 per acre.
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Old 4th November 2010, 10:12 PM   #7
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Thanks Peters even though i got 4 from somewhere lol
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Old 4th November 2010, 10:45 PM   #8
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.
4 hives per hectare has been in books 50 years. During that time hive size has grown 3-fold.

Your 3 per acre is 7 per hectare. 50 hectares rape and you are ready to put there 300 hives. I have here hundres of hectares rape and fireweed but i must be carefull, whee l put hives.
Use your brains!

I put hives on summer rape 2 hives per 10 hectares. Rape is soon bloomed and bees ought to get honey from another flowers.
If the the pasture is mere rape, i do not put my hives in such place.

But it depends what alternatives exist.

Last edited by Finman; 4th November 2010 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 4th November 2010, 11:05 PM   #9
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can you guarantee you have the only bees in your area, if its osr they seem to go miles for the stuff, weather depending, spoke to a commercial beekeeper in north hampshire a while back and he has cut some sites from 20 colonies on a site down to a dozen and the yield is still the same for less hives to inspect.
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Old 4th November 2010, 11:11 PM   #10
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Just to say we have no rape in our part of the world so it doesn't come into consideration.
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