Multiple Hives Per Yard

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Eddy Honey, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    My main bee yard has 12 colonies of varying sizes. My 2 other locations have 3 colonies each.
    I notice in all these yards there is always 1 booming hive going gangbusters and some hives that just "maintain".
    Has anyone else noticed this? This is my 3rd year and it always seems to be the case.
    I wonder if one hive may be drawing in foragers from neighboring hives? I've yet to see 2 boomers right next to one another.
    I've acquired another location on some alfalfa fields and will place the hives farther apart to see if it changes the way they grow.
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Good thread. I am only in year 2 but I have noticed a different personality in each of the 14 colonies I have in the same yard. I do not have two gangbusters next to each other either.
     

  3. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Michael Bush says that some strains of honeybees, become 'booming hives' by robbing their neighbors.
     
  4. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    I have 3 hives and there is only about 4 inches separating them. All 3 are going crazy (booming) they are in an out yard in the middle
    of soybean fields.

    Personally, I think its more of a hive thing than a yard thing. But it's just my opinion as I am still very new. I can usually find a reason within the hive that is causing it to be a poor performer.
     
  5. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Bees are always drifting to some extent in the bee yard. Studies have been done on bee drift and it has been found that when hives are placed in a line the bees will drift towards the center hives.
     
  6. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    You can reduce drifting quite a bit by making the hives visually distinctive, orienting the hive entrances in different directions, and by not having the hives in a straight row.
     
  7. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    I have 5 hives separated across a field by about 100 feet. All of them are "booming" but one is a little behind the other 4.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I would first want to know the ages of the queens in each hive <this one factor tends to predict the boomers more than anything else. I have an opinion which is much like Yankees <that is sometimes boomers are right next to each other and sometimes the duds are right next to each other.