# Thread: How far can a bee fly....?

1. ## How far can a bee fly....?

How far can a bee fly on a gallon of honey? If you could feed a bee a gallon of honey.

The answer to this question will be on tomorrow morning edition of NPR's Morning Edition. Check it out and see if you agree or think that it is hooie.

How much honey does a bee consume in order to fly a mile? How does one figure that sort of thing out? Did someone get a doctorate out of finding that out?

Hoping to hear from plb on this one. He probably knows where to look. As I am sure many others do to. But not me.

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## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Hmm. Well, I remember from one of my classes that a bee can roughly fly 2 miles (depending on the bee) to go forage for food. After that, the bee ends up consuming most of what was in it's crop for energy needed to fly, and generally takes a round trip for nothing. So that would be about 4+ miles on one stomach full (I guess?).

Now, how much can a bee fill in it's stomach? beats the crud out of me. However, I would probably guess that he could fit about 2ml if he gorged himself on the sweet stuff.

So, if there is 3,785 ml per gallon, my guess is about 8516.25 miles on one gallon of honey. (That would be 3,785 ml/2= 1892.5 trips * 4.5 miles per trip (guessing?) = 8516.25 miles)

Of course, my numbers are based on the bee consuming nectar or sugar water, and not honey, so they could be able to go further, but my guess is 8,516.25 miles on one gallon of honey.

I'd be interested to hear what they say the 'true' answer is though.

3. ## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Me too. And how they got to the answer.

Supposedly more than 4,000,000 miles.
Last edited by sqkcrk; 02-16-2010 at 05:32 PM.

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## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

****.... i wish my trucks got that many miles to a gallon !!!!!!

but yeah its a lot of flying - i read somewhere not that long ago that it takes 12 bees there entire life time to make 1 tablespoon of honey!!!!!

so about 12 bees to a cup of tea!!!

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## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Well, sorta makes sense. . .

"Back then it only cost a nickel, only we used to call 'em bees on account of the bee on the back. Gimme 5 bees for a quarter we used to say."

- Grandpa Simpson.

If a cup of tea is \$.60, then 12 bees it is.

Someone call the drift police now.

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## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Guess it depends on how much head wind or tail wind the bee's got.

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## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Me too. And how they got to the answer.

Supposedly more than 4,000,000 miles.

Sounds a bit high to me.

It's my understanding that a bees life expectancy is 50,000 miles. Their bodies and wings are worn out at 50K. You would have to feed multiple bees in a relay team to get the 4 million miles.

After 50K, the bees just sit on the porch in their rocking chairs consuming the remainder of the gallon of honey.

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## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

477,714 Miles.

9. ## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

The bee would die of old age before it burned up a gallon of honey...

10. ## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

The answer is 4,704,280 mpg. This number was generated by Steve Buckman at Arizona University. He fed a bee, attatched it to a tether that allowed the bee to fly around in a circle. He measured how far the bee got on its' intake of fuel and then did the math.

He never maintained that a bee could do this or that it would or could live long enuf to do it.

I've been toying w/ the idea of getting a decal on my delivery van and now I'm even more intent on getting it done. It will be a honey bee w/ a gas hose pointed at the gas hole. I was thinking of having script that said something about "Pure North Country Honey Only", but now I'm thinking that I should use Steve Buckman's info. I bet it would get some comments.

11. ## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Originally Posted by Michael Bush
The bee would die of old age before it burned up a gallon of honey...
Of course, but that's not the point. We beekeepers say that it takes a bee flying so many miles to produce a teaspoon of honey, but a bee doesn't produce a teaspoon of honey in its' lifetime, does it?

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## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Originally Posted by sqkcrk
...He fed a bee, attatched it to a tether that allowed the bee to fly around in a circle. He measured how far the bee got on its' intake of fuel and then did the math...
Now let me see if I got this straight. He tied a bee (to one if it's feet?) and let it fly in a circle? Ha! c'mon where's the science here! Does he know if the bee stopped because it ran out of fuel or because it just got board from flying in a circle. Was the bee fasting before he fed it? Did it take up as much feed after the flight? Was it a young bee full of piss and vinegar or a more mature tired bee? Was this particular bee stressed in anyway. Did the bee have a reason to fly? Did he calculate the drag created by pulling on this tether and how that affected the outcome? Was there any wind resistance? Did he perform this experiment with many bees to average out his findings? There are surely many more variables I can't think of but all this to say.... the bee went quite a ways. But we already knew this. Now he just added an "unprovable" number to it.

Let me guess... this was funded by the federal government to test the feasability of sending bees out on secret missions to discover the enemie's pollenating potential....

13. ## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Yeah, I guess this is all a bunch of hogwash and obviously a conspiracy, probably left wing or maybe right wing. But actually it would have to be both. Otherwise it wouldn't fly.

I posted the author of this data so y'all can ask him. Sorry, no address info available from me. But I'm sure someone will come up w/ it. Have fun.

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## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Bee vs car....
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...289433&sc=emaf
It is an unfair comparison but entertaining nonetheless.

15. ## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

How far can beeman dan fly on a gallon of honey?

I'm sure that if I consumed a gallon of honey I would bee flying.

That's a cool looking VW.

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## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Originally Posted by sqkcrk
How far can a bee fly on a gallon of honey? If you could feed a bee a gallon of honey.
I heard that piece on NPR this morning. 4.7 million miles on a gallon of honey. As they said animal muscles are much more efficient than auto engines. Of course a bee is much less heavy than an auto.
Originally Posted by sqkcrk
How much honey does a bee consume in order to fly a mile? How does one figure that sort of thing out? Did someone get a doctorate out of finding that out?
I hope not. The calculation is very simple 1/4,700,000 = ~0.000000212766 gallons for one mile. Of course, coming up with the 4.7 million miles may not be so simple.[/QUOTE]

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## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Originally Posted by sqkcrk
But actually it would have to be both. Otherwise it wouldn't fly.

18. ## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

19. ## Re: How far can a bee fly....?

Originally Posted by Michael Bush
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Hmmm. Good question, hypothetically.

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