I have some hives in my backyard. There are not many flowers around but about 1.2 km away(air distance) there are a lot of flowering acacia trees. Will my bees able to travel this distance to these flowers and how do I get them to know that there are flowers over there.
I know that my bees may have aleady knew about these flowers but how do I make sure.
Noon time temperature is around 110 deg F and it is always sunny.
1 mile = 1.6 km approx.
I always figure they travel extensively withint a couple of miles. Well enough they know every landmark. They do travel further when there is nothing withint that radius, but it's hard to say how much and how often. Here's a study on the subject in the UK.
Here's a quote from the study:
"The median distance forages was 6.1 km, and the mean 5.5 km. Only 10% of the bees forages within 0-5km of the hive whereas 50% went more than 6 km, 25% more than 7.5 km and 10% more than 9.5 km from the hive.
These results are in sharp contrast with previous studies in which foraging distances were much closer to the hive."
This is much farther than I would have guessed as the norm.
Michael- thanks for the info and the link. I was under the impression that bees travelled about 2 miles max and have been scouting the surrounding countryside within a two mile radius to try and find out the source of the light yellow pollen they have been hauling in large amounts. So far, I haven't figured it out- it sure isn't from my veg garden, though! The prickly pear cactus is in bloom here now. Is that a source of pollen, nectar, or both?
Don't have any prickly pear here, so I wouldn't know, but I have seen flowers on them when I was in the desert and I would suppose there is nectar and pollen. Don't know in what amounts.
I think 2 miles is what a bee thinks of as "their yard". It's the area they know very well. If you drop a bee of within two miles of their hive they will fly straight home. Further is iffy. They aren't afraid to go that far if that's how far they need to go to get food, but would rather not spend that much energy.