I wonder how many hives it would take to start seeing diminishing returns. I would thing that with an area such as that, you would be able to put a lot more hives in one location. What is your thinking on that Dane?
Nice to hear from ya bassman1977 :) You know, I've really no idea on the magic threshold #. I know my area has close, unlimited water supply for the bees - the kind of murky (mineral rich) stuff they seem to prefer. The blackberries are so thick and follow the creek upstream several clicks with massive clusters up the banks and into adjacent areas. This also was a walnut orchard (quite a few old trees still around) and sort of a transition spot: wetlands, suburbia and farm land (strawberries, raspberries, clover, hazelnut, etc.,) all close by. I've got 32 colonies so far this year (vs 10 for last year) & may split that up a bit, depending on the swarmyness ;). I'll try to divide them equally between the upper terrace and my deck locale but also could park a few at my other residence, friends, etc., if need be. I'm just going to find that max hive point through empirical observation I guess. :lol:
Linda ~> I'll do a little rain dance for you too! ;) The # of brood chambers depends on how I start. Last year I nuc'd into a single deep at first and then added as normal. This year I have my survivors and, nuc and package prices being what they are and available when they are (LATE!) - I decided to expand with full double-deep hives and made a trip down to the Cali almonds to do just that. Let me tell you, it was a great season in the almonds and these hives were nigh nectar locked. I'm hoping the cold weather slowed the queens down - "took the swarm outta 'em".
Hi Cindi! ~> yeah, I'm on it sister! heh I've been moving so haven't had time (nor computer set-up) to post updates much this year yet. I lost more hives than I wanted to the elements my first winter. Sogged right out... :'( cold wet whipping winds and inadequate ventilation (condensation) & protection are just too much... but I wanted to just "let them be" to see. Next winter I'll be doing 2 things differently: new, all-season vented inner covers & serious protection from the wind & rains. The terrace colonies will be moved back and under the balcony, which will be tarped from above with another draping down - just open enough to allow little light + escape but protect from winds and rain. The deck location get's a 3-sided tent (4th side open opposite of prevailing winds).
Anyways - I'm definitely excited about the nectar flow this year. I bought loads of drawn frame supers... I was amazed last year at how they produced even getting a late start from nucs with no drawn comb... this year, with the early and running start, I hope to :shock: & thanks for the info on the pear's desirability. The blooms smell so lovely to me. The bees aren't really minding the cherries all that much either, and two of them are directly in front of the terrace hives there. I put out a bucket of wet cappings (left over from last year, not crystallized tho) and they didn't pay it much mind either.
edit ~> forgot to share that the pollen is so thick here it will coat your car straight away.... no use washing unless you hit the road until it dries, it sticks to the wetness. It's like the entire area has been sprinkled in curry... typical spring here. Anyone else have crazy spring pollen like this?