Re: Production differences with close forage
You learn pretty quickly in this business that honey plants yield differently in different areas/climates/soil types or even just from year to year. Generally alfalfa yields best, though, when under a little heat stress which is not the case at all with sweet clover. As far as distance, though, certainly the closer the better. I think it's a bit more complex, though, than simple flying times. If a bee can fly somewhere around 20 mph (for easy figuring) that would put the round trip "commute" to go a mile at only 6 minutes total, foraging time probably greatly exceeds that. Yet it is clear that bees are far more efficient closer to the source. I suspect that it has more to do with the physical limitations of a bee to fly back to the hive while heavily loaded with nectar or pollen that forces them to work closer to their hive if they expect to make it back.
"Ve are too soon olt und too late schmart."- A nameless German philosopher