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Author Topic: What's the smallest feasible land size for hive?  (Read 204 times)

SeppukuSuperstar

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What's the smallest feasible land size for hive?
« on: November 07, 2020, 03:04:05 am »

I couldn't find it in the otherwise excellent PDF posted here.  What's the smallest land size you've experienced or heard of working?  I have a rural property that is likely a bit small (2 acres), but if it would be possible, I'd love to try.
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Shamichael

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Re: What's the smallest feasible land size for hive?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2020, 05:37:25 am »

Bees don't care how big your property is.  It's possible there may be some local ordinance pertaining to this where you live, so maybe check that out, but I think it's doubtful.

I currently have 3/4 acre lot and keep bees, and at one point in my life I had several hives on 1/10th of an acre lot.
People in NYC have hives on their roofs.

One of the great parts of having a hive is watching the flora in your area and following the nectar flow.  They will be following that nectar in trees and fields or along roadsides.
I hope you enjoy the hobby.
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MadPlanter

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Re: What's the smallest feasible land size for hive?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2020, 01:24:12 pm »

Ya as long as there's plenty of forage nearby I don't think your property size matters. I have 4 hives but also have 3 acres in the middle of nowhere. This is beekeeping territory out here. However I've seen success in regular residential neighborhoods before.
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SeppukuSuperstar

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Re: What's the smallest feasible land size for hive?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2020, 02:58:41 pm »

Thanks to both of you.  That's interesting and really encouraging.  I did a search of regulations in the municipality and can't find a single reference to anything related to bee-keeping.  Looks like I have another winter research project.  Good news with everything likely being shut down.
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MadPlanter

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Re: What's the smallest feasible land size for hive?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2020, 03:03:04 pm »

Definitely worth a try. I know when I lived in Sarasota and had a normal lot in a standard neighborhood you could have 3 hives. A friend had 18 in his yard before being bothered though. He's a commercial beekeeper though and just needed to stick some hives somewhere for a bit. Turner family bees and honey for those who want high quality honey in central FL. Truly unheated and unfiltered.
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Mangrove

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Re: What's the smallest feasible land size for hive?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2020, 03:11:22 am »

You have more than enough land to host at least two or four beehives! The only real limit to backyard apiculture is whether or not your neighbors kvetch about it! As long as something is flowering en masse in your area they should be able to get by. The Buckfast Bee strain produced the best honey and tended to be far less aggressive than the other strains I worked with and would recommend you use that one if possible.

I would recommend you start setting up a new colony around mid-spring. When I studied apiculture in Israel, I learned that one should harvest honey from mature/established colonies at most twice a year: mid to late spring and a week or so before Rosh Hashannah (mind you this was in a Levantine environment where it got cold a month or so after Rosh Hashanah). Starting new colonies in the springtime is a good idea. To be on the safe side I wouldn't harvest honey from a virgin colony for the first year, nor would I recommend harvesting honey any later than early to early mid fall (they need the honey for wintertime.) An established hive should be harvested no more than twice a year, ideally at 5-6 month intervals.

All the best,
--Mangrove

PS: Does anyone here know of local beekeepers who cultivate raw honey from Buckfast Bees? Idk if it was the local flora they feasted upon or nostalgia, but I would be willing to trade a couple dozen viable A. Simplex seeds for some authentic raw honey!!! Black Mangrove honey is the bomb.
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geezer

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Re: What's the smallest feasible land size for hive?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2020, 10:18:39 pm »

I'm pretty sure the taste of honey has to do with the source of the pollen brought back to the hive

I've also had black mangrove and it was awesome. Got it at a mango orchard near Matlacha, Fla

You'd be surprised how many thousand hives are kept in big cities. I'm a member of the big bee club here in the Great Lakes Icebox. I'd guess there are not less than 500 beekeepers INSIDE the big city and some of them with upwards of 50 hives in each of their several bee yards.

Before we moved we lived in the first ring of suburbs outside the big city and I wasn't aware of anybody in that municipality that was keeping bees other than me. At that location I had three healthy hives on a lot smaller than a fifth of an acre. The bees fly as far as they need to find food and water.

Since we've moved out to the boonies I'm noticing a beekeeper with 10 or so hives every other mile or so and my bees (just one hive this summer) didn't have any trouble making enough honey for themselves and my immediate family

Anyway, it's worth your time to join the local bee club. They tend to be goldmines of the kind of info you need to survive your first few years of beekeeping. You'll also find out who's nearby your intended bee yard. Your only real concern is some gigantic commercial beekeeper within a couple miles of your place, and whether the nearby beekeepers keep their hives disease free - there is some interaction among the colonies out in the fields and they'll occasionally try to check out each others' hives. That's one vector for disease getting into your hives. But that's one of the things you can prevent with proactive disease treatments. They'll cost you a few bucks every year but the treatments are much cheaper than the cost of a single hive of bees you'd otherwise lose to disease.

Got questions? Feel free to ask. I've been on a bee learning binge for four years now. I'm ALMOST good at this :)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2020, 10:27:00 pm by geezer »
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