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I've got 11 hives in an open area (1 acre lot) across the street from my house. I've got pine trees on the west and north side of the hives. There is a highway at the far south end which is wide open. My question is, since bees "bee line" are the bees likely to fly at the height of traffic if there are no trees,fence etc to fly over before reaching the highway? I'm wondering if I should put trees or a fence there so they'd fly over the traffic. I'm going to add a lot more hives over there this spring. Thanks
 

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My bees go up pretty quick once they leave the hive. Same for returning. That said, I probably wouldn't do anything until you can watch their flight patterns near the road. Certainly some will always be low to the ground due to preference or local foraging and you can't stop that. I'd only add a fence or something if I had to.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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My experience is that the water foragers stay low and the nectar and pollen gatherers tend to fly much higher. I live in a wooded area so that is probably a factor. Take off angle from the hives is about 60°.

Truth is, I can not recall ever hitting a bee with a vehicle and I have at least a million miles of driving.
 

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A migratory locates his holding yard along my road to NY apiaries. Trailer loads a couple hundred yards from the road. Every time I drive past, it's a slaughter. They have flown a couple hundred yards, so should be at their preferred flight. I guess that's how high they fly.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Thanks Michael. I guess the surrounding vegetation does play a bigger role than I thought. The trees around my yard are 60+' tall. The bees literally drop out of the sky just feet from their respective hives. Only time I see them foraging low in the yard is when they are working the Dutch clover after our flow shuts off.
 

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Pretty easy to watch the flight path from an apiary, depending on the lay of the land the bees may fly fairly low. Like Michael I have driven past apiaries and had squished bees on the windscreen, actually thought if what happenes on my windscreen is translated to all the vehicles that go past, it must be quite a drain on the apiary.


If you have the inclination, a shelter belt to get the bees up and over the freeway will help, but also be aware if it is too high the bees will fly around rather than over it, which could defeat the purpose.
 

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Mine are in a grove of oak trees and fly nearly straight up. A privacy fence may be good for you. It may help with flight paths, but also could help with noisy people and hive thieves.
 

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I've got 11 hives in an open area (1 acre lot) across the street from my house. I've got pine trees on the west and north side of the hives. There is a highway at the far south end which is wide open. My question is, since bees "bee line" are the bees likely to fly at the height of traffic if there are no trees,fence etc to fly over before reaching the highway? I'm wondering if I should put trees or a fence there so they'd fly over the traffic. I'm going to add a lot more hives over there this spring. Thanks
It will be a shame but IF your bees tend to fly in good numbers across the highway, you will lose some bees.
On windy days they tend to fly as low as possible just above the landscape to conserve energy (the landscape being - grass tops, shrub tops, or tree tops; if a roadway - just above the pavement).
If there is an obstacle (a fence or a tree line), they will "hop" over it, drop down again, and fly on staying low.

A key is then - are there any good pastures or any other reasons (e.g. water) for the bees will fly in that direction?
It maybe they don't even fly in that direction much - you need to determine that for yourself and know the predominant traffic ways for your bees.
If lucky, you don't even need to worry of this highway.

If possible to put up a tree row next to the highway, put is as close to the roadway as you only can - this way if they still "hop" over the trees and drop down, they are more likely to also "hop" over the roadway before coming down.

PS: so it happened that our potato field was right in the middle our main bee traffic way - the main bee pastures were located in that direction;
on some windy days it was impossible to work the darn potatoes - the bees would be staying low; bump into you; get into you hair; they get mad and it was ugly;
the worst was when we were horse plowing the patch on some windy days - terrible, horrible, stupid idea to do;
of course, our bees were the black bees and on the feisty side - a part of that problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I think I'll plant some trees down on that end. On that end of the property there is a little hillside going down to the highway so it wouldnt take much to get them over the traffic. There are semi trucks. It's a 2 lane highway,average traffic. As far as do the bees travel that way,I've never watched them to see, but the area around me is pretty much the same all the way around so I'm sure they travel that way some.
 
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