View Full Version : Hives under High voltage power lines
06-25-2005, 11:34 AM
I maybe placing some hives on a location that is under some high voltage power lines.As far as honey production its very close to acres of black locust trees,plus pasture,and crop land.Ive read that the bees will not do any good under power lines because the magnetic flux from the power lines will mess up their navigation or something like that is any of that true.
06-25-2005, 01:42 PM
I have heard concern about these magnetic fields, but mostly from the beekeepers in the UK and other European countries. I would not be concerned about the magnetic fields, although I would have the landowners notify the power company not to spray.
06-25-2005, 01:50 PM
If you get a very old copy of "ABC-XYZ", it will mention the bees bumping thier heads on the wires. smile.gif
06-25-2005, 01:54 PM
Well, there is a measurable magnetic field,
and you can do the math - you can calculate
the strength of the field created by
high-tension lines of various voltages, but
you have to know the voltage carried (120kV,
230kV, 315kV, 735kV...) and the height of the
lines above ground.
But I'd be more worried about the potential
for a mowing crew or spraying crew disturbing
your hives than I would be worried about the
RF/EMF/RFI. You do know that many power
companies have helicopters flying along their
power lines and spraying defoliants, don't you?
You realize that they are under no obligation
to worry about what might look like a beehive
as the easements that they get allow them to
do exactly this sort of spraying, don't you?
Here's a citation to a paper I've never read,
but it appears to have an appropriate title
Wellenstein, G. 1973. "The influence of high
tension lines on honey bee colonies"
Zeitschrift fur Angewandte Entomoligie, 74: 86-94
(I'd assume it is in German)
The only impact I've ever heard reported in
regard to bees was when they were placed near
a transmitter tower for a radio station - a
much more powerful RF signal than the one
created by power lines.
Here's a decent overview:
My little sister is the environmental protection
and safety engineer for all the dams along the
Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers in Vermont and
NH (now owned by Trans-Canada by the way), so she
has gotten dragged into this high-tension line
stuff many times. Despite the fact that she is a
100% organic macrobiotic tree hugger of the
classic sort, she has yet to find any credible
evidence that links these lines to any problems
for animals or humans.
The whole "health issue" appears to be a mere
tactic used by the forces of "not in my backyard"
to make them appear less "not in my backyard" in
But yeah, those things are ugly as sin.
I wouldn't want one in my backyard. smile.gif
06-25-2005, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the replies I just didn't want to place hives there and then find out they don't do anything.I agree the lines are ugly and the area does get sprayed and mowed.I'll be out of the direct path but still around where the spray drift can hit the hives.Thanks for the link Jim.
06-26-2005, 02:00 PM
I keep bees under high voltage lines, and the bees don't have any problem with the lines. If fact, they will fly right by the lines on their way to and from the hive. EMF, or magnetic flux, increases exponentially the closer you get to the lines. So, you would think that if it bothered the bees, they would sort of fly avoiding the lines. However, they will sometimes even appear to graze the line... not that they are flying toward it, but they randomly fly anywhere around the lines.
My utility company only cuts trees on the right-of-way... they don't spray. But would a defoliant hurt bees anyway?
06-26-2005, 04:17 PM
Yeah, Curry I'm pretty sure a defoliant would hurt the bees. No proof yet though. Try proving that Agent Orange is hazardous to humans.