One of the most frequently asked questions in beekeeping is, “How close can you put beehives together?” Beginner beekeepers frequently wish to know more about the rule that provides an answer to this query. The trick, though, is that there are no rules.
Recommendations for beehive positioning
One of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your hive is that you place your hive in the right location. This is just as crucial as beekeeping and should be considered before introducing bees into their permanent home.
Sun or shade or both
Watch the hours of sunlight and when spots in your yard are in full sun. Place the hive in the early morning sun. This allows the bees to leave the hive earlier in the day to feed. In the Northeast, hives can spend the entire season in the sunlight. However, in hotter climates, hives should get some afternoon shade.
No direct wind
Hives should be located near a windbreak, such as a fence, vegetation, trees, or bushes. This is particularly true in places where temperatures fall below freezing. Northern-facing sides of the hive should be protected, especially during the winter in the northern United States. In the Northeast, hive openings should be oriented to the south or southeast.
To work the hives, make sure there is enough room between them. You should be able to walk between and around them with ease.
Raise your hive above foam blocks or platforms to keep the ground moist and allow you to manage the hive. The overhead beehives are simpler to lift. Make the platform, however, not too high because you probably do not want super hard-to-reach honey during the feeding season.
There should be a water source nearby. This can be a birdbath or a tiny water pot filled with pebbles and water for landing.
Entrances should be oriented in the opposite direction of foot flow. The bees will not mind, and this prevents the bees from mistaking people and pets who stroll in front of the hive entrances for potential threats.
Ease of access
You should be able to view the hives and quickly access them. This allows you to perform the necessary inspections and care for the hives.
Check with your local authority to see if there are any predators in the area, such as skunks or bears. If so, you should use electricity or a strong fence to keep the hive safe.
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Problems that you may encounter
You can set your hive as close to the ground as you like or follow the recommendations above. Bees, as we all know, are incredibly intelligent and can quickly find their way home. You can even place beehives attached to each other.
However, this is not a rule, and beekeepers are not limited to placing their hive in this manner. Some beekeepers, on the other hand, claim that when the hive is arranged in this manner, bees normally gravitate to the last hive. This, they claim, results in more bees in the bottom hive than in the center.
Other beekeepers, on the other hand, are disputing this allegation. They claim that such a thing has never happened to them. There is no harm in putting bees near each other, according to them. In fact, they claim to have never encountered any issues with this type of solution.
Furthermore, some beekeepers place their hives on a movable platform, allowing them to move them from field to field. When you put the hives very close together, there will be a lot of fighting and dead bees at first. In the coming days/weeks/months you will not see any wars. However, you will notice that one or two hives are overcrowded and the others are almost empty.
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How close can you put beehives together?
Help them mark their sovereignty with color
You can partition the region for them to solve those tragic wars. You can use stickers or paint various colors on each hive. This may seem counterintuitive, but each hive should have a different shape or color, even if it is only numbers or letters.
This method has the potential to help bees remember which hive belongs to them. Each hive has a distinct scent and sound, and bees’ yellow/brown color varies from colony to colony. Guard bees from each hive can distinguish the difference between a colony member, a neighboring woman, and a robber.
Place the entrance of the nest in multiple directions
Really, you can stack them on top of each other. Although it would be better if the entrances don’t face the same direction. Honey bees can recall the exact location of the entrance to their hive to inches. They also seem to recognize the smell of their hives differently, even when the two hives are directly on top of each other.
However, as in most cases of beekeeping, it is best to learn from your own experience. Depending on the space you keep the bees and the personality of the bee colony, choose the appropriate placement of the hive. If there is a problem, you can apply our solutions above.