Hello! I'm not certain that I'm posting this in the correct place, but here goes anyway. I have a farm and raise sheep, cattle, work-horses, hogs etc... . I have one hive of survivor bees that have made it so far, I gave them some honey today as it was 50Âº and nice for a change. Still alot of snow on the ground though. I collected them as a swarm last year from the colony living in my house wall. I have used no chemicals on them. I don't use chemicals on the fields or stock either.
JP is talking me through doing a cutout of my house bees when it gets warm enough, and my great-uncle just up the road has told me I can get the survivors from his house as well. His bees and the ones in my house have been here at least 5 years. I'm also getting 4 Buckfast packages the first week in May.
Now for my question(s); The farm is about 6000ft X 4100ft, the pastures are white clover or birdsfoot for the most part and rotationally grazed so there is bloom in them all summer (not all at once) about 130 ac of pasture. about 180 ac of hay/crop fields mostly birdsfoot, timothy, white clover and alfalfa hay and some corn patches and small grains. I intend to plant around 7 ac of buckwheat for soil improvement and bee food. The remainder of the ground is mostly wooded, mostly hard maple, red maple, beech, birch, red oak and basswood with some creek and swamp ground. I'm surrounded by unworked farms and woods. There are no other beekeepers anywhere around me. There are Feral hives as we do see swarms on occasion, other than the house bees I already mentioned. Alot of goldenrod in the fall. I don't know my other honey sources well enough to know what else the bees may find.
I spend my evenings reading everything I can find on bees. I think I might be bee crazy as I spend way too much time thinking about them. I'm currently reading Mastering the Art of Beekeeping Vol 2 by Ormond & Harry Aebi. Mention is made of being able to keep 200 hives on a piece of ground. Most of what I've read on this and other sites suggests no more than 20 hives to a site.
What I'm wondering is while I'm adding to my hive#'s, should I start several smaller sites or should I keep all my hives in one place? Any guesses how many hives might be kept if I start several yards spread over my ground? I intend to continue using non-chemical methods. Thank you for your time and patience with my long winded post.