how far do honeybees travel?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Doc, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't have beehives but I have lots of honeybees in my garden. It's great! I need them to pollinate my flowering vegetables. But no one I know around here keeps bees.

    Does anyone know how far the bees will travel to collect nectar?
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    they will and can travel about a mile or more for nectar and pollen.
     

  3. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    The honey bees normal avrage distance of travel is two miles. They sometimes will (which has documented) travel up to six miles.
    :D Al
     
  4. Hee Haw

    Hee Haw Well-Known Member

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    I have always wondered that to, I have read 2 miles and up to 5 miles, but I think all is but a scentific guess. How could anyone follow a bees direction and keep up with its flight for miles?
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes 4 to 6 miles if there is nothing closer, but it is believed that they can only forage 2 to 3 miles and gather enough to maintain a hive. It can be tested with a hive in a desolate area with feeding stations at different distances from the hive and paint dots on the foraging bees. They will only travel a minimum distance to get what they need. They will not travel 1 mile if they can get what they need within a quarter mile of the hive.
     
  6. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Well, bees can be funny creatures. I've seen bees from one hive forage off of good forage right by the hive (for example a stand of buckwheat). Bees from the next hive over will go right past that buckwheat to forage on something else (for example goldenrod). I have a feeling her highness might have a different fancy than the royalty next door.

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  7. orangehen

    orangehen Well-Known Member

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    My neighbor just came down (lives about 1/3 mile away) and mentioned that lots of honeybees were crawling on the cow feed in their feed lot. I just paid $12.00 for a bucket of organic soybeans, put some of them through the blender, mixed the soyflour with honey, and made pollen patties just for them.....and they go visit the neighbors!

    Awhile back, at one of our bee meetings, a commercial beekeeper stated that he'd read that honey bees could travel as far as 14 miles away!! Everyone was stunned - until my daughter piped up, "Yeah, but do they come home again?" Then everyone laughed, and no-one really believed it. Sounds ludicrous to me.
     
  8. deaconjim

    deaconjim Appalachian American Supporter

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    I've heard 8 miles, but I'm not sure they go that far unless they have too. You may be seeing feral bees.