3.1.1. Location and organization of testing station

Location of the test apiary should ensure a continuous nectar and pollen flow during the testing period for the number of test colonies. The test colonies may be moved to an apiary for the target (main) honey flow. When planning the location of colonies in the apiary, special care must be taken to reduce drifting. Placing hives in straight, long lines or in rows one in front of another is not allowed. In these conditions, colonies are the strongest at the ends of the lines and in the first and last rows due to drifting of the bees when they fly back to the hive.

The following arrangements of hives in the apiary are recommended to reduce drifting among colonies:

  • Hives placed on individual stands – recommended
  • Hives placed on small group stand (up to 4 hives) (Fig. 8) – acceptable
  • Hives distributed irregularly and in smaller groups with their entrances facing to the four coordinates or somehow different directions (U-shaped or circle groupings) - acceptable

  • Groups of hives placed in broken lines – acceptable
  • Groups of hives separated by hedge or fence (~2 m high) - recommended in test apiaries with more than 30 colonies.

Fig. 8. Hives placed in small groups and with their entrances facing in different directions. Photo: N Kezic.

Figure 8