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What is the farthest you travel to your hives?


#1

Well I just got back this last Sunday a couple days short on account I picked up a nasty chest cold. But I did make it out to the west side of Wyoming to buy bee boxes made of poplar. Here’s my question first and then a bit of explanation on boxes I bought for those interested and the makers policy as dictated to me. Question is in regards to diastance one is willing to travel to hives. Since I got back two rancher friends of mine have asked me to place hives on their property. Both are quite a distance from me. One never has had hives and the other hasn’t had hives in over 20 years. The one that never has lives some 50 miles away and the other is about 30. Since there areas are farmland with good water, no pesticides in use, and relatively low in even wild bees I’m seriously thinking of putting a few hives on each just because I can, and I know and trust these people. Distance is a factor because the 50 miles away is almost opposite and in another state which that state has great tasting clover every season, but it’s a further drive which mean less attention to the bees except during critical times. I think mostly if I give the bees 3 brood boxes each there is less likey a worry of them taking flight elsewhere and I can just go get the honey and call it good. I’m looking for good honest knowledgable comments. I am not doing this as a hobby and as I expand my business it seems to me to get as much ground covered as allowed. Comments??

Next item is the boxes I got. Made of poplar, well cut to exact demisions for a 10 frame box. Dovetail joints, glued and screwed together. Poplar is a nice white wood, but one thing I noticed as soon as I got them home was a small bug trying to make a home, so the first thing I’m going to do is scorch the inside of them before painting them. Then some of the wood had the thinnest splits in wood where screwed so I’ll have to spackle outside, bees will take care of inside themselves. Then I will coat in an exterior primer on outside only. Then to apply at least two coats. of white paint. After which they will winter in storage that will see below zero temps on many occassions so I will double security in any harmful bugs that might have been in wood. Second issue is that the maker of these boxes told me I was his last order for the year. I suppose he might take orders but that’s just an opinion of mine for the coming up year but he said he is done making boxes for the year. His cost are half of what I had been paying at rancher supply stores, so that is a plus for me. I got tops, inner boards, deeps, bottom boards, bases and stands. His stands are set up so that if you have ant problems you can create a small pond of oil and water so ants can’t climb your hive. Here in Wyoming ants haven’t been a problem for me, but I’d imagine in the southern section of the US sugar ants might pose a threat. A drawback for someone of distance is this maker of boxes will not deliver. You have to go get them, but for me that was okay. I saved a ton of money and since humidity is low here I think the boxes as long as I keep them painted and in good condition I shouldn’t have any problems. However another friend in the business wound up in his order of boxes with about 100 too many which are butt jointed pine boxes. All are painted in 1 coat so would need another coat but with no foundations in them for sale as well. So because they are closer I will get them as I’m going to be needing more rather quickly.


#2

Well given that I have driven the better part of 40 miles each way to commute to work I wouldn’t blink at a 50 mile drive to my hives if it was a good location. Just driving from one side of the Phoenix valley to the other is around 40-45 miles depending on where you are starting and ending your drive, so maybe I am just more numb to idea of having to drive to get anywhere.


#3

Oohh! I have driven hiway 50 coming in on the south side of Phoenix through Mesa one time. It seemed to take me over 2 hours just to get where I wanted to go which was clear out to Goodyear. I would never do that again during the tourist time.


#4

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#5

Tell me about bait swarms. What’s that Dex?


#6

Hi Tony, I hope you get over your chest cold quick. Most of my bees are 8 minutes drive away. I look after bees for an orchardist which is 20 minutes away. I wonder how you’d go knocking on some doors a bit closer to home. You might be surprised at the response you get, especially if you offer some honey from time to time. We have an online thing you can advertise on for free called Gumtree, if you have something like that you could advertise on for free, that could be worth trying. There’s a lot of talk about the trouble that bees are in. You might find something closer to home that suits your needs.


#7

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#8

It would depends on the pastures and if I ever get out that way for other things to make the trip worthwhile, and how many hives I have there.

I have had a yard that was 60 miles one way, but it was at a friend’s house and it gave me one more reason to visit. Otherwise I might not have kept a yard there. As it was, they weren’t as well taken care of as the hives that were closer. If I had thirty hives or so there it would be more worthwhile than less. If it was on 8,000 acres of sweet clover, it would be more worthwhile than if it’s in the middle of 8,000 acres of corn…


#9

Tony I have bought clover seed to plant - if you have room grow your own!


#10

Yes plant your own if you have room but you need lots of it. My hives are surrounded by white clover in the fields that stock graze in the summer. I never see a bee on my garden plants unless there is nothing else around.


#11

You will get the odd bee forage in you own yard, however the vast bulk of the bees will leave your hive & fade away into the distance.


#12

Hi Tony, I just finished reading your second paragraph. Is dry rot a problem in your area? I’m going through the process of fixing my boxes up & treating them with copper napthenate to combat dry rot. I’m painting them inside & out. I’m only using water base paint. I find if I have to scorch the inside of the boxes at a later date, the water base paint doesn’t blister like oil base paint. Also congrats on getting the boxes at the right price. bye.


#13

Yes that’s just what they do which limits what you can plant for them in your own apiary.
To those who keep their bees in their gardens I would say plant flowers that support pollinators when there is little else about, i.e. early Spring and Autumn. Planting clover in your garden is all very well but it will bloom at the same time as clover in the fields and your bees will ignore it.
I plant crocuses (by the thousand) in a sunny spot near the hives and the bees do take advantage of the early pollen when very little is about. Similarly to fill the void between bramble and ivy here I have about two hundred plants of Sedum spectabile and maybe forty old fashioned asters which today were absolutely alive with bees and butterflies.


#14

I commented on a similar subject quite a while ago. It only occurred to me while I was typing it. Say the bees forage in a radius of 1 kilometer, that means the bees cover an area of over 6 sq. kilometers. A 2 kilometer radius = over 12 sq. kilometers & so on. Taken in that context, our suburban backyards (well mine is, & I saw Vallis) are only minuscule in such a vast area. I got criticized for it, however I let the bees clean up leftover honey on my back veranda. I had quite a few hives at the side of my house for customers. I always thought all the bees cleaning up came from my hives until one day after I moved all the hives, there was just as many bees cleaning up as there was when I had the hives there.


#15

we have so much wild clover it would make your head spin Valli. Fields and fields of it this year as far as the eye could see in some places and after that it was replaced by wild sunflowers.


#16

I’m lazy. My mom called this morning. Local neighbor has a hive settled in and wants it removed. But Mom is 112 miles away.

I told her to call the club and if no one wanted it I would come up for it. So I guess I think 112 is too far ; -)


#17

I think I’d consider that too far. 112 km would be too far let alone miles. I wouldn’t consider that lazy.


#18

I don’t mind it if the removal is 20 miles or so, but much past that isn’t worth it. It almost always takes more than one trip too…