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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    How familiar is everyone with their 5 mile radius? I live in a very rural area and a cursory drive around as well as chatting yields very, very little crop activity. I see no sumac to speak of, no clover etc.

    Question is in regards to honey production. If I make it through the winter, I want to step up to around 10 hives. I can obviously feed them to get the foundation drawn, but what about honey? Anyone else living in an area that sounds like this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Marietta, GA USA
    Posts
    26

    Post

    This year has been pretty pitiful in my bee yard about 40 mi north of Atlanta. Rain, rain, more rain. last year we could'nt buy a drop of rain. In past years where the weather has been more moderate, we got pretty decent wildflower crops. Around that yard, there is no "real" farming except for the land raping developers.

    I have another yard in the mtns of western NC that has been somewhat better but could stand some improvement. There, the bees have more forage available. There were a little late coming out of the gates but they turned it on when they did. The crop is still 50-60% of what I expected.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    So how does your local hive fair Jim? Do you get any honey at all?

    [This message has been edited by scott_dixon (edited July 21, 2003).]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    This year, we had a wet Winter but a dry Spring, and the wildflowers were considerably less in number and quality than usual. Since wildflower seems to be the major honey source in this area, it's a little disappointing, but I'm just a hobbyist and don't plan to sell any honey anyway. I just hope the bees have enough to store for Winter. I've done drive-arounds in this area just to see what other sources there may be, but most of the property around here is horse and cattle ranches and farms. No major agricultural plantings that I have found.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    South Mississippi
    Posts
    128

    Post

    What is the maxium radius from the hive the bees will travel for a nectar source?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    I think they may travel five, but usually they spend their time within 2 miles. They know and recognize the area in a 2 mile radias. They are not very familar outside of that. If you move a hive three miles the bees stay there. If you move them a mile and a half they will go back to the old spot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    As short a distance as possible. They can fly surprising distances when they want to, but given a reasonable amount of bloom, they seem to forage mostly within a few hundred yards of the hives, judging by my own observations.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lynnville, Ia, USA
    Posts
    173

    Post

    I feel that if they have to go more than a mile, yield will suffer. Nectar sources are not always visible. I have yards that look like they would be worthless but the bees do well. Other places that look like they should be really good don't yield enough to bother with. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Marietta, GA USA
    Posts
    26

    Post

    The hives above Atl had a little honey which I took some but left a lot for the bees. I also was in an expansion mode making splits etc. Problem is that if the tulip poplar doesn't come on strong, the bees gather privet which has a sharper flavor and crystallizes easier.

    The NC hives are doing well but past years have been better. There they have poplar, blackberry, clover and sourwood amongst others. The sourwood flow was really short compared to last year. I'll still do ok.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    Do honey bees work blackberries to any degree? This would be excellent news for me as we have untold millions of blackberries, but I did not get my bees set prior to the end of the bloom.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    Yes, bees will work blackberries, raspberries, blue berries, and strawberries.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Post

    Things change. We just bought 5 acres of land which LOOKED to be pretty much pure grass, and I saw remarkably few honey-type plants within a one mile radius. i drove on all of the roads, too.

    However, it is now late summer and there are quite a few fall wildflowers growing, now. I just couldn't see them earlier because they were too small and the grass was 3 feet tall. They are just starting to bloom, and the bumble bees are quite enthusiastic about it. I figure on planting some clover to stretch out the honey flow, but it sure is good to see some bee-forage show itself!!!

    [This message has been edited by Terri (edited July 22, 2003).]

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