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Getting ready for my third swarm season and was just wondering how far a swarm will travel from its parent hive? This is the question I asked last night at our Bee Keeps Meeting and it almost started a fight. Most of the members are fairly new like me to bee keeping with less the 5 yrs. But the old timers (some with 25+ years) really were entertaining as they argued over this ( just glad there was no alcohol). One said up to 50 miles to find a suitable home, another said BS they will not go more than 2 miles and then others said 5,10 15 ect... So I hope I don't start a argument here by posting this question. How far will a swarm travel from its parent hive? I will present the remarks/findings at our next meeting in May. No names will be used in my report to the club on this matter. Thanks to all that reply.
 

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I have chased a few, the ones that I could keep up with were less then a mile. But then again there are lots of wooded areas close by also. In some of the ag areas where there may not be a tree for miles, well I have no clue.
 

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I do not Know as I have ever read a study on the matter. But following Logic one would assume that bees being like any creature would tend to stay within their comfort zone. (The area they travel regularly) since most seem to agree that bees forage within 3 miles of their hive it would be well within the bounds of reason that they would search within that area for new accommodations.
 

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bee swarms travel as far as they need to. It can be different in different environments.

In the mid 70's on the plain where Kilimanjaro airport is located in Tanzania driving along the A23 to Arusha I have had swarms cross the road in front of and into my truck. They covered the wind screen with their bodies as I was moving at 100 kph. I know they were honey bees as I had to stop and clean them off. There is not a tree within 15 miles in any direction. Yet they were crossing the road going north to south. Where the came from? Where they were going? How far? As far as they need to!
 

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If you want to see how far swarms will travel, look at the studies for the movement of Africanized Honey Bees from the Mexican border northward. How far they go each year.

cchoganjr
 

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I have seen them go for a mile or more. Other than what I've seen, I'd say maybe up to two or three miles as that is their normal foraging area, but this is guessing on my part.
 
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