How many hives is a lot?

Usually, the best practice to follow is no more than three colonies on a lot of a quarter of an acre or less (not counting the cores). Then, for every additional quarter-acre, add another three hives.

How many hives is a lot?

Usually, the best practice to follow is no more than three colonies on a lot of a quarter of an acre or less (not counting the cores).

Then, for every additional quarter-acre, add another three hives.

More experienced beekeepers may want to have even more than two hives to increase their chances of success. If there were an ideal number of hives for a backyard beekeeper, most beekeepers would estimate that 2 to 5 hives would be optimal. Of course, you'll also need enough space.

Each hive takes up approximately 22 inches by 16 inches of space and can be placed up to 6 inches apart, but more space is always better. A lot of space is also needed around the hives, both for maintenance and for safety. If hives are kept too close together, it can sometimes cause them to “drift” into a hive that is not their own. Over time, this can affect bee populations, strengthening some hives and weakening others.

Generally speaking, most backyard beekeepers have 1 to 2 acres of land with 2 or 3 bee hives. Personally, I have had 10 hives on a 1-acre plot of land in a subdivision. One important thing to do is to talk to your neighbors first. I spoke to all my neighbors to get their verbal approval to place these hives in my backyard. When I had many more colonies than I have now, I had between 18 and 20 fully productive colonies in each apiary, in addition to a few cores.

They all did well and I may have gotten away with more. Brother Adam had 40 colonies in his apiaries in Exmoor and R, O, B. Manley, who was the first man in the United Kingdom to manage 1000 colonies, had up to 50 colonies in his apiaries in Chilterns. Both worked for maximum honey production, so they had no passengers and had large, prolific colonies.

If they had just seven colonies in an apiary, as has been suggested, they would have spent more time traveling than caring for bees. The average amateur has nothing to worry about. The minimum lot size required for beekeeping will be 6,000 square feet. No hive will be established or maintained within 10 feet of a property boundary.

As your initial colony grows from your first box, the question arises as to how many boxes you should dedicate to breeding. With the use of a queen lock, it is possible to restrict the queen to a single box and some beekeepers think that the benefits of this are worth it. Transferring some pups to another hive can help reduce the likelihood of the colony becoming a swarm. In addition, some pests and insects will find safe haven in hives that the colony has not filled reasonably well.

If you or a neighbor have a pool, you can still have bee hives, but you'll have to work hard to maintain a good relationship with your neighbor. It should be noted that keeping bees inside the hive for many days during nectar flow will reduce the amount of nectar that is collected. You can take a calf with eggs from your queenless hive and place it in the queenless brood box. We want to find out which areas receive foot traffic and keep the hive as far away from those places as possible.

Tim Vivian, a beekeeper from central Birmingham, strives to show his hives to as many people as possible, from colleagues to schools and anyone with a fleeting interest. Not only does having two hives ensure that there are additional resources available to share between hives, such as hatchlings, nurse bees, worker bees, or even pollen and honey, but it's also a protective measure in case an entire colony is lost. Beekeepers are looking for ways to share hives, as well as to reduce the number of hives in their hives. During the first year of raising bees, countless unexpected situations can arise; and with just one hive, you have nothing to turn to if things go wrong.

To complete the wide range of terms related to beekeeping you'll hear, we'll mention “overcome”, that is, changing the number of supers in the hive (although the verb is normally used when adding a box). I started with a hive and, due to negligence, it became extinct and, since I only had one hive, I was out of beekeeping for several years. This risk is much greater when honey bee hives are kept in close proximity, as diseases spread more rapidly between them and the wider population of pollinators.

Sean Cook
Sean Cook

Proud web aficionado. Hipster-friendly twitter buff. Devoted food aficionado. Certified pop culture buff. Typical beer lover.

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