Question on what to look for in a new out yard

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Yankee11, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Went and looked over a potential out yard today. It's about 45 miles away.

    This place sits in some small mountains. It's on about 80 acres and is fenced. Not any monofarms anywhere close. We can put
    as many hives as we want. There was a very large pond about 150 yards from where we are thinking about putting hives. Plenty of water.

    The owners say there is a very large Peach orchard about a mile away. Also driving and walking around this land we saw wild Blackberries
    everywhere. This is very secluded and I can't imagine any hives withing 3 miles from this place, unless a wild hive.

    The plan is start with hives this spring and get them there well before Blackberries start to bloom.

    Anything else we need to look for.

    What I like is we would not have to worry about pesticides anywhere near this place. A truly natural setting.
     
  2. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Any spray used to control mosquito in the pond, either from land owner or government agent. The peach orchard is far enough away that spray from it should not be an issue. What main honey crop in in the area. Clover, Alfalfa, ??? . Is the land grazed as grazing animals will keep the fields bare of the plants reaching the blooming stage.
    45 miles is a bit of a distance so you need to have enough hives there to make the trip worth while, or have another yard in that direction to make the trip pay.
     

  3. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    You have probably thought of this ------ vehicle access close to the hives. It can be no fun moving full supers across rough terrain.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    The owners say there is a very large Peach orchard about a mile away.

    tecumseh...
    having raised a peach or two I will tell you that peaches are about the most sprayed crop on the planet bar none. <may or may not be a problem I just don't know.

    the basics are a 1) well drained site with a 2) southernly exposure to the sun and 3) a year round source of good water.
     
  5. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Thanks,

    The close pound looked to be about 20 acres in size. Would be shocked if it is sprayed. Think were safe there. and it close, maybe 100 yards away.

    We will be able to set hives anywhwere and in any direction we choose. So easy access no problem. It's kind on top of a small mountain, very hilly area.
    so drainage wont be an issue. We drove around a little. It's rolling hills with woods and pastures. Didn't see much livestock. Havn't seen the peach orchard yet, so don't actually know the size or how close it is.

    The plan is to take 2 hives up this spring and see how they do. I just don't know how to tell how much forage is around, (not experienced enough yet)
    Owner said we can put as many hives as we want. What I think is good is that its not all woods and not all pastures. Seems like it would be a great Natural
    environment.
     
  6. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    just about any area will support 6 hives, from what you say I would think that area would do atleast 10 hives (betting on more) specially if you split the yard, if it were me I would put 6 at each end of the 80 acres to cover the hole area, gotta make that 45 mile hike worth the trip as apis said:smile:
     
  7. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    Go to Google earth and look around. You can measure how far away that peach orchard actually is and see if there is other forage between it and the yard. Bees prefer to forage within 900 yards of the hive. Only go further if there isn't good forage within that area. You'll also be able to identify other areas of forage for your bees. That's the first thing a I before looking at a new yard.
     
  8. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    How about this.

    The guy that owns the land is going to disk up several acres around where we want to put the hives and said he wants
    to plant clover. For the bees and for the deer. Wants to know what kind of clover the bees like. :)
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    white or ladino clover are good choices.... crimson clover yields a nice honey but it is my understanding that red clover produces no nectar crop... here we have a very small 'burr' type clover that also produces no nectar. as an early and easily established forage crop (for both cows and bees) vetch is an excellent choice < easy to establish, seed are cheap and it is relatively easy to maintain.
     
  10. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    I have a lot of red clover near one on my yards. Bees do not work it for either pollen or nectar. They do work white clover but it's not their first choice up here. I have been told that ground is too acid to produce nectar they like.
     
  11. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Be aware that there are different variates of vetch and they are not all equal in nectar production.
    Vicia pannonica
    Crantz - Hungarian Vetch is the best type for nectar. the longest of the three for blooming
    Vicia villosa Roth - Hairy Vetch or Winter Vetch is good for nectar and can produce 100lb. per hive per season. it is hard on swather's as it will build up on the rollers and it can start breaking parts, so a farmer may not be to happy with it in his hay field.
    Vicia sativa L. - Common Vetch, Spring Vetch It is not as dependable as a nector flow and the honey is darker.
    According to my book on Plants for Beekeeping in Canada and the northern USA
     
  12. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Sounds like a great place, but 45 miles away?!? There's got to be a suitable spot somewhere closer to you that can easily support two hives. If you're just starting, you're going to want to visit your hives a lot. That could add up to hundreds of dollars in gas, and many hours spent in the car. I would really recommend finding a closer beeyard, and expanding into that dream location when you have enough hives to make the trip worthwhile.
     
  13. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Thanks D.

    This would be one of 5 be yards. We currently have 20 hives. May be able to take 6 or so hives. Just dont want to take that many until we know if
    it has forage. Probably 2 this year then maybe more next year.
     
  14. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    My bad. I didn't mean to assume you were just starting out. I have a similar number of hives myself, in 3 different beeyards (all of which are relatively close to my house), and I already feel like I'm driving too much.

    That prospective location really does sound like it has nice potential; I wouldn't necessarily let it go. Perhaps it is worth putting just a couple hives out there for a trial, but if it passes, I'd personally move the whole lot of 20 out there to make the trip worthwhile in the future. Barring some unforeseen deal-breaker out there, it sounds like it could easily sustain that number. Also remember, having just a couple hives out there for one season is really just getting a snapshot. It probably takes a couple seasons to realize the potential (or lack thereof) of a location.
     
  15. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Nope, no problem D. I may have 20 hives but I am still a yung un when it comes to beekeeping.

    Yea, the ,ileage is the only thing holding us back. And since we were offered this place we now have 3 more offers to look at. All closer to our other yards.

    Just don't have enough bees..... yet :)
     
  16. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    distance can be worth it depending on the harvest, 1 of my yards is 3 hours away but where the hives sit in the past have had 6 or 7 full honey supers, and thats with 40 hives in the yard.