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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I read posts on Beesource I have another tab open with Google Maps. I like to look up the location of the other people posting just to get an idea of where we all are from. When I type the town name in maps zooms into the location. It amuses me (it's fun to me) to zoom out until I recognize where in the state a given town is. Am I alone in this activity?
ks
 

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Nope, I google map a lot of folks before I respond to them. Could make a big difference in what I say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I hadn't thought of that reason, very good. Not actually having bees yet I'm not handing out advice. I'm waiting for the word to order packages from the club my wife and I joined. Two hives painted and ready.
ks
 

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I do it on the local reply's. A lot of us have stupid little town like Boring Oregon 97009 that are close but not familiar.
Then they put down Clackamas so they are not embarrassed.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
...and if you lived in Kansas, you could be ks KS. :D
I actually thought that the first time I saw your name. When I was a kid every time we visited relatives in SW Iowa someone would make a run to Kansas to get Coors because my dad liked it and at that time KS was the closest you could buy Coors. He brought 21 cases home one time and learned that beer doesn't keep forever. The 23rd of December will be three years since he passed and I sure miss him. Thinking of KS has given me some good memories.
ks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do it on the local reply's. A lot of us have stupid little town like Boring Oregon 97009 that are close but not familiar.
Then they put down Clackamas so they are not embarrassed.
:)
I'm kind of in that boat. Melrose Park is my post office. I'm in unincorporated Leyden Township. Melrose Park used to be a really mobbed up town and I really don't like saying that is where I live. If you look at google maps and find the southernmost runway at Ohare airport and go 4000 feet south you'll find my neighborhood. It's the house my wife grew up in, built when the airport was still Orchard Field which built bombers during WW2.
ks
 

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For those that may not know Google Maps has two features that are very useful to beekeepers.

1) Satellite View allows you to locate open fields, nearby water sources, etc.

2) Measure Distance allows you to measure the distance between two points "as the bee flies". Right-click on one point and a menu box will open. Click on "Measure distance" then click on the other point on the map. This is very useful to determine if the location where you plan to move a split is far enough away from the parent hive to prevent drifting. It is also very useful to determine distance to a water source.
 

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Also very nice thank you.

Obviously bees are going to forage as close to home as possible but what is a good maximum distance?
ks
It may seem obvious to you, but, it's not always that obvious to the bees. I offer the extreme example as something we have observed in our old home. After finishing extracting, I read that lots of folks will leave the extractor outside so the bees can 'clean it' for them. Did that one year, set the extractor in the driveway out front of the garage, had two colonies about 15 meters distant. They were busy, and I was watching them come out of the hive, fly in a strait line right over the extractor, about a meter or two above it, and off they went headed up the hill. The extractor sat there with wet honey for hours, the wasps found it, as did the ants, but the bees just ignored it and continued up the hill all afternoon.

So how far will the bees go for foraging and mating ? Good question, lots of lore around the subject, some research if you dig for the results. I was at a meeting last year, presenter was a former researcher talking about this subject with regard to isolated mating yards. One summer they were working in a very remote area, and did a bit of a trial on this subject while he was a student working on the entimology degree. It was in a gas field where they had strait roads that ran virtually endlessly with small gas platforms every 4 or 5 km. They set out 10 drone mother colonies at one of them, then went down the road setting out a mating nuc with cell every 2km. The goal was, see how far down the road till they had a mating nuc where the young queen failed to get mated. 15 mating nucs set out at approximately 2km spacing, for a total of 30km from the drone hives they set out. A month later, the one at 28km and the one at 30km were laying worker colonies, all the rest had mated queens. The takeaway message was, if you think your yard is isolated from other beekeepers, think again if you aren't a long ways out in the sticks away from any other potential colonies. In our particular area, if it's not a 2 hour drive or a boat ride to get to where your mating nucs are located, likely getting some influence from the drones coming out of other beekeeper colonies into your mating plan.

I do also remember reading results from another trial, dont remember where that paper is, but I do remember the gist of it. Irrigated field surrounded by what was essentially desert in one direction. Colonies were set at the edge of the field then at intervals going away from the field. They went back and weighed the colonies over the bloom period of the field in question. Maximum weight gain was at the colonies placed a half mile or a mile from the field, and everything out to 5 miles did put on weight, beyond that they lost weight over the trial period. I think that paper is where a lot of the 'bees will forage up to 5 miles' lore comes from when you ask folks about this subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It may seem obvious to you, but, it's not always that obvious to the bees. I offer the extreme example as something we have observed in our old home. After finishing extracting, I read that lots of folks will leave the extractor outside so the bees can 'clean it' for them.
Thank you for the info. Your extractor story is similar to posts I read in the pollen/nectar plants section where beeks planted forage but their bees don't pay any attention to them.
ks
 

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... Did that one year, set the extractor in the driveway out front of the garage, had two colonies about 15 meters distant.....
Too close and direct visibility - these will throw the bee algorithms off.

In my case they will find whatever I set just around the house from the bees.
The same direct 15-20 meters if a straight line drawn.
But the house standing between bees and the honey makes all the difference - it helps the location computation algorithms.
They routinely get into whatever honey-smelling or bee-smelling things I have in the open garage (it takes just a flight around the house).
 

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Nope, I google map a lot of folks before I respond to them. Could make a big difference in what I say.
Yep.
+1

Without a location it is not even worth saying much (most of the time).
The clear location posted also prevents saying something stupid (most of the time) - a good thing.
 

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Too close and direct visibility - these will throw the bee algorithms off.
Horsepucky.

Bees working on something will continue to go to that same spot, until they stumble on something they prefer. When we set our bees out into the fireweed patch we see lots of them working the blooms that are right outside the fence, roughly 3 meters from the colonies and strait out the front door. In the fall, when feeding bees, if I forget a pail of syrup between two hives and it's open, takes about 5 minutes for it to start looking like a swarm. That's much closer, and they find it quickly. It really is all about what are they already working on, and do they stumble on something better in the process.

But back to the topic on hand, usefulness of google maps when dealing with bees. The overhead photos are great for looking around, but, lots of them are very dated. If I look at the location of our best summer yard on the overhead photos, it shows up as a large stand of timber. Reality is, it was logged 3 summers back and is today a huge patch of weeds with tree planting finished and the young trees just starting to get established. The overhead photo is at least 4 years out of date. It's a 200 ha patch (roughly 500 acres) that turns purple with fireweed blooms for 6 to 8 weeks of the summer. If I look at the street view for our place, it's from before we bought the property in 2013, and a lot has changed over the last 5 years.

I do find the overhead views to be invaluable at times, but, one needs to remain aware of just how dated some of the data is.
 

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Horsepucky.

Bees working on something will continue to go to that same spot, until they stumble on something they prefer. When we set our bees out into the fireweed patch we see lots of them working the blooms that are right outside the fence, roughly 3 meters from the colonies and strait out the front door. In the fall, when feeding bees, if I forget a pail of syrup between two hives and it's open, takes about 5 minutes for it to start looking like a swarm.
And of course, you are sure those bees in the pail of syrup or on the bloom are from the exact hives 2-3 meters away.
I do mean possible sarcasm.

In similar instances for me, the bees robbing honey frames (left 1-2 meters away from the active hives) were coming and going to the neighbor's bee yard.
Which was, btw, clear just by looking at the bees as I do not run commercial Italians (mine just did not "see" those frames for whatever reason).
This was a repeated observation, to be sure.

The same I observe regarding the blooms just 2-3 meter away from the hives (a big enough raspberry patch or sweet clovers) - my bees ignore them en mass, if you just watch the traffic patterns.
Meanwhile, there are bees working these blooms (enough other bees in the vicinity).
 

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Maps is cool. I do not use it much for bees but a lot for hunting. Can find the shortest way into a remote area, can find large tracts of woods separated by streams or narrow bands of cover that make good ambush stands. Can look at a large corn fields, and then the closest water to see possible deer travel routes.
Most of my current Apiary sites are many year sites, on property I either own or relatives do. But I can see the potential if you had a forage target area and looked around it for hive sites. Plus 1 for maps
GG
 
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