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Author Topic: How many hives is to much for backyard?  (Read 1768 times)
Beelicious
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« on: November 28, 2008, 11:15:58 AM »

Hi I am brand new to beekeeping and the forumn, I think this forum is great! My question is I live in Charlotte, NC I have a decent size back yard thats somewhat private but being in the city will the bees be able to suport two hives or more? If I am correct the bees will travel up to three miles,  but do city beekeepers have a harder time than beekeepers in the country?
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jsmob
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2008, 12:06:46 PM »

Welcome Beelicious

In the county I live in it depends on what the property is zoned as. I live in a residential area so I am limited to 2 hives unless I am splitting for swarm control and then I can have for hives for a couple of weeks. If it is Ag. I can have as many as I want. Or commercial I believe I can have 4 or 6. That I am not sure on. So first check to see what your county or city zoning allow. As far as the bees doing better in town or not I feel mine do better in town because they have something to work almost all year. Right now the Rosemary is in bloom and will be for most of the winter. But out in the country side it is dry and dead for the most part.
If you go to youtub you can find a guy who keeps bee in manhattan.
Have fun with your bees.
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Greg Peck
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2008, 12:08:16 PM »

I have 4 in my back yard with out any problems. I live in Harrisburg Pa.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=3116+n+6th+17110&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=33.710275,55.107422&ie=UTF8&ll=40.296958,-76.895456&spn=0.00198,0.003363&t=h&z=18

The hives I have in the city seem to make more honey then the ones I have in the country.
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TwT
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2008, 12:43:03 PM »

if you have no limits on the numbers of hives you can have the next thing is how many hives can your place sustain? this you will have to find out for yourself, around here if I want surplus honey I can go 7 maximum in my back yard but in my out yards some can have only 5 and others can have 15, you have to put them their to see, start low then add one or two more and see how their stores goes, if they are filling supers like crazy then you can have more hives, to many hives in a certain location can cause them to not store enough or get any surplus.  its a touch and go thing, you will have to see for yourself because knowone can tell you about your location here.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 04:29:11 PM by TwT » Logged

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Beelicious
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2008, 01:47:48 PM »

Fantastic! thanks for everyones reply this forum is a big help.
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2008, 02:25:12 PM »

Bees in the city always seem to be able to make honey, people in the city usually have a variety of plants growing that support colonies and fantastic honey production.


...JP
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Shawn
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2008, 04:07:01 PM »

We have no limits here in our town in Colorado. However, my wife says if there are too many bees and someone gets stung the number will go to 0  rolleyes
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2008, 06:38:20 PM »

Beelicious.  Bees in the cities (in many cases) do have a great life for gathering nectars.  Most cities have the most incredible gardeners, hundreds of people that love to tend gardens, get the biggest and most beautiful flowers.  Have flowers for flower competitions, that list goes on and on and on.....Many focus on the extremely wonderfully scented flowers that really are attractive to bees, as well as the human beings' nose.  I think that the city is a most wonderful place to keep bees.  Sometimes I think I might take a few of my hives to my Sister-in-Law's house, do the work of taking care of them, but letting the bees get all the best of the good stuff from the city gardeners.  I would give them the majority of the honey.  The city gardeners also have the luxury here of lots of water, all they have to do is turn a valve and that water comes out like there is no tomorrow.  I am fortunate, I am on the border for city water, so I can have all the water I want too.  Just one-half kilometre away, the city water stops and the wells are there.  Most wells in our area don't run dry because we live in that rainforest anyways, so that is not an issue.  Oh eeks, I am ramblin', sorry again.  Have a most wonderful and awesome life and day, and health.  Cindi
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2008, 06:39:24 PM »

If you get over 20 I'd start looking at production.  If it hasn't dropped off, try a few more.  They will forage the 8,000 acres around you.
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2008, 06:48:48 PM »

If you get over 20 I'd start looking at production.  If it hasn't dropped off, try a few more.  They will forage the 8,000 acres around you.

I would have to call bull $h** on that one, it doesn't work like that in certain locations!!!!!! Thats how people lose hives from starvation in the winter months if they don't know what to look for in the fall, I would lose all my hives from that info from summer on till winter, you have to deal with all kinds of foraging info to call this like 8000 areas of fields that there is not much to forage on or droughts ect. its nothing personal but sometimes you can not read from books to people, everything has differences.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 10:05:39 AM by TwT » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2008, 10:55:19 PM »

How many are you thinking? It sounds like you have your answer already, and no point in arguing about 20 or 50 if you are only thinking about 2 or 5  rolleyes  The 20 or 50 hives will answer themselves if you get to that point.

I have 6 full hives (2 deeps) and 4 small hives (1 deep) and 1 observation hive, so a total of 11 hives without any problem in my suburban back yard.

Rick
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Rick
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2008, 09:03:25 AM »

...I live in Charlotte, NC I have a decent size back yard thats somewhat private but being in the city will the bees be able to support two hives or more? If I am correct the bees will travel up to three miles,  but do city beekeepers have a harder time than beekeepers in the country?


{Edited}
Sometimes it's better to keep one's activities low-key and try to blend in.  Doing this can ensure that you don't ruin it for other beekeepers in your city as well.

Respect the rights of neighbors and fellow beekeepers and limit the number of hives to a small number.  Problems that can result from too many hives in close quarters within city limits can provide the situation where the city may reconsider their beekeeping ordinance (or lack thereof.)  In my town, I keep my numbers at my house down to a couple hives, and maybe at some times a few nucs (on a very temporary basis.)  It would be a real shame to create a situation where a town might have to adopt an ordinance, possibly dealing away with beekeeping in the borough.  In my mind it's easier and wiser for me to move extra hives to my second outyard on a friend's farm outside of our town.  A large bank of boxes can be perceived as a threat by non-beekeepers - put your extra supers away (out of sight).  Many non-beeks don't know the difference  between your two hives and that stack of empty old supers sitting nearby.  AN ounce of prevention can go a very long way.

Two hives or possibly three are much more easily accepted by others in the town.  Problems with neighbors brings into mind the situation in Hollidaysburg PA, (click here for article link) and I wouldn't want things in my town turning that way.

I think that if urban beekeepers are reasonable about how they carry out their beekeeping, problems should not arise (in most instances).  I also believe that exceptions such as Hollidaysburg will happen, and we need to be ready for them.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2008, 08:50:11 AM by 1of6 » Logged
Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2008, 10:34:08 AM »

My hives in town have always outproduced the ones in the country.  But, of course, 20 is pushing the limits of your neighbors.  I was being facetious about the 20 but was trying to make the point that it's really not the issue in town.  20 in one place works well around these parts.  The actual number a place can support, of course, varies greatly by the available pasture in that 8,000 acres around you.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesexpectations.htm#oneplace
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#howmanyhivesoneacre
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JP
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2008, 10:47:04 AM »

Quote from M.B. "My hives in town have always outproduced the ones in the country."

I have always found this to be true as well.

I had 17 at my home at one point this yr and I wrote about it here, had problems with a neighbor, bees going to his fountain, so I moved them to my main beeyard.

Have 2 nucs and 3 others at the home turf now. Gotta watch the neighbor situation.


...JP
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BjornBee
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2008, 07:54:56 PM »

In town and in city may be two different things. With that said, of course one needs to look at the surroundings. Thousands of acres of corn and field crops, deep forrest, and concrete cities, all may drastically reduce the numbers. But for 99% of beekeepers, I have always said that up to 20 is usually the break point.
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