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notenoughtime
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We want to increase to have 14 (we have 3 now) in the spring. So my question is how many is ok to have in one spot? We have 9 acreas of alfalfa on our place but there's 2 other 80's of alfalfa just to the west plus more surrounding a 2 mile section. Wondering if this is enough to support 14 hives or should I start asking around now to split them up? Is there a benefit to keeping them in seperate areas, even though I like it having them right here at home? Someday I hope I learn enough to be able to answer some of these questions for others..Thanks
 

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The standard is approx. 25. Of course, it will vary with the blooms available in the area. Also, you need to know if, and how many, other hives are in the same area. Bees, to do well, should not have to fly more than 2 miles to the flower source. They will go farther, but it cuts their production drastically.

Most alfalfa is cut before it blooms, unless it is being raised for seed. When is yours and the neighbors cut?
 

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should not have much problem keeping them in sets of 24 and below
but you may be disapointed with the honey production if say a large
comercial migratory beekeeper moves in within 1/4 mile and remember
alfalfa is normally cut just when it starts to produce well and alfalfa
pollen is not the best so it is good if you also have other sources
of pollen and nectar available if you do you should do well.
 

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notenoughtime
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This was our first year and they did well. The alfalfa here did bloom before they got it cut. Actually there was a field blooming somewhere close all spring and summer and even through the fall. Now, whether this is the way it always will be I am not sure. There are not any other hives close to us at this time. Our alfalfa was always on the bottom of the list since we only have 9 acreas.:confused:
 

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Alfalfa makes good honey if it isn't always cut before it blooms.
If it were me though I would only keep 10 colonies on the home place and place 4 colonies at some other location so as not be dependant on the alalfa.

We keep ours at a wide varity of areas.
A horse farm has the alalfa but two years ago the crop wasn't so good due to a early drought.
A Christmas tree farm where the lanes between the rows of trees are chock full of Michigan wild flowers.
A green house set up because of the many perennials that are set on out side racks for sale.
Just a home owners wild land as they like to see nature at work.
A tree farm as there are many trees that bloom and make exellant honey plus all the wild Michigan flowers around.
We have a few more yards but they are mostly just wild flower yards.

We place a minum of 9 colonies at a yard unless we can have another yard with in a mile to cut travel time and cost. Even then we will only due 3 colonies on a test bases.

:D Al
 
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