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Discussion Starter #1
What's the consensus on how far bees will forage before it takes more to get there than it is worth? There are several Soybean fields 1.6 miles from the hives. Main flow is pretty much over but the bees are rollin in and out and bring in lots of pollen. If the beans are the right variety, it would be a nice source for winter stores. I'm thinking about putting together a small trailer to tote the bees around. Saw the posts on these.

thanks:D
rick SoMd
 

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Statistics states that bees will travel in a 2.5-3.0 miles radius to forage!

P.S.-Try GoogleMaps.com, find your area, zoom in to a map scale of 1.5 miles and click on satalite view to give you an idea of how far in your area that your bees will travel! Hope this helps....Good Luck!
 

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1.6 miles is nothing for bees. If it is good source of nectar and/or pollen, they will go there readily. I'm sure they can get there faster than you can in your car. They are no more likely to forage there if you plop them right in the middle of it than they are from 1.6 miles away.

Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

www.thewarrestore.com
 

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I saw a study somewhere that showed the rates and optimal distances for honey stored. It may even be here on beesource in the POV section.

I believe that much over 1/2 -3/4 mile returns start to diminish although that doesn't mean they can't forage further and store /make honey just that honey storage begins to drop as energy needs to forage at greater distances increase.

Perhaps someone has a link to that study?

I believe it was done in an irrigated area with storage rates observed at varying distances from the crop with nothing else around for forage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mark,
If you are asking me about mine,,,,I have seen them in clover in the yard which is less then 100 yds. Same for the hummingbird feeders.:D Not in any numbers though.

Honeybeekeeper. Very familiar with the google maps. Myprevious proffesion I was involved in Search and rescue,,,,land and water. I had access to mapping program called Terrain Navigator. So I put it on my home PC. Anyway, it has the ability to put circles from any point in increments. That's where I got the 1.6. The really neat thing I do with it is mark my swarm boxes. Shows me how far apart they are and I can get max coverage of an area:D

Rick SoMd
 

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Mark,
Myprevious proffesion I was involved in Search and rescue,,,,land and water. I had access to mapping program called Terrain Navigator. So I put it on my home PC. Anyway, it has the ability to put circles from any point in increments. That's where I got the 1.6.
Rick SoMd
You can do that with google maps also.
Google google maps circle and there are multiple hits on how to do it.
 

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Nah, just asking in general. I've never spent much time watching or seeing foraging close to hives.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My bee buddy has 3 acres. Two years ago he planted an acre of Sweet clover. Man,,, you could hear the bees from most anywhere in his yard on that stuff:D I'm sure there is always something more interesting elsewhere than in my yard. Probably all my neighbors that have those big Crepe Myrtles:D

Rick SoMd
 

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How close to their hives do they forage?
I've got loostrife not ten feet from my hives and the bees are all over it. Thats where I stuck my bee fountain that they are also all over. My lot is 1/2 acre and they have been all over everything I've planted for them in my own yard. They are MOST fond of the white salvia about forty feet away. I have several plants of it and each spike will have 3-4 bees on it at any time during the day.

Later, John
 

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The bees will choose the most "economic" nectar source. Depending on the distance, wind etc. they will forage that which will provide the most carbs for the energy expended. A portion of the population will forage on the lower value sources.

It's explained in Thomas Seeley's book "Wisdom of the Hive".
 
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