Keeping Hives Close Together
Keeping hives close together is something most Native bee keepers will face once they get a few hives together. Small urban blocks don’t allow to much space for city bee keepers and this is a good way to accommodate housing more then 1 hive in a small place.
Have a look at this video to watch the current setup I am using and learn a few things.
Tips on keeping hives close together.
-Move hives together slowly over time. Allow a new hive to sit near the older hives for a couple of days before moving it closer. Move hive approximately 200mm a day towards an older box to be on the safe side, If the hive is already close.
– Allow hives to sit for a couple of months before being able to swap boxes in any position. It takes a long time to get 10 hives or more used to each other.
– Add new hives to one end of the plank, rail or rack your using to store them. Do not add a new hive to the middle.
– Split hives from your group of hives will not cause a fight if added back into the group of hives.
– Hives will share worker bees! Stingless bees will “drift” between boxes in your group of bees.
– Colonies kept in groups can be used to help a young colony grow.
– Hives kept together will remain friends for 3 days if a box is moved away from the group. Within the same yard.
– Hives that have very few bees in them, will collect workers from other nearby hives without fighting.
– Take your time to add a new colony of bees to your group. Rushing it will make one very very large swarm.
– Once all your hives are together they will rarely have a swarm. No outsider hive will attempt to take a large number of colonies.
– Drones from other colonies still fly to groups of boxes without fear.
– Genetics and drift can be better maintained with the use of visual entrance hole designs. I.e star shape, square shape, higher hole, lower hole and facing hive entrances in different directions to each other if your stand allows it.
Interesting article coming soon.
A recently written article by Ruby Stephens will soon be released in Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. It will contain some interesting findings related to this article. I will post up a link as soon as it is released. Here.