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Bees - fly up to what maximum wind speed?

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I've had a bit of a trawl around but can't see anything about this.  Maybe one for @Dave Black.  I'm looking at a new site, its a windy site, it has an average wind speed of 15km/h for the period the hives will be there.  I think the bees should cope ok with that, I'm sure it will be taxing though.  Some science would be handy. 

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If it is in the manuka you will find that the native bees will fly in much windier conditions than honey bees and take all the nectar.

The wind in NZ normally gets up at midday and my bees are very noticeably busier before it starts.

So if the site got the morning sun it would work .

 

 

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The quick answer in the books is that foraging ceases with wind speeds over 15mph (24km/h), assuming flight activity is not limited by light or temperature, and honeybees fly at up to 21-28km/h (28km/h is 7.8m/s). The question deserves a little more thought though.

 

Adrian Wenner did some work measuring flight speed in the ‘60s, calculating flight speeds of 7.0 -7.8m/s for laden and un-laden ‘bees. He looked at wind towards and against the direction travel, but not really at cross-winds, and understood that the height at which you measure the wind speed matters. Honeybees reduce altitude as wind speed increases, and they also don’t travel as far. Foragers that work close to home come in to play, the long-distant team stay at home. Nectar sugar concentration becomes more important.

 

Sustained wind at hive sites can aggravate drifting, increase forager mortality, and change the energy budget for a colony, usually making things less favourable, even lethal for unmanaged colonies. How much all that matters, and at what point that begins to matter, only experience will tell.

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2 minutes ago, Dave Black said:

The quick answer in the books is that foraging ceases with wind speeds over 15mph (24km/h), assuming flight activity is not limited by light or temperature, and honeybees fly at up to 21-28km/h (28km/h is 7.8m/s). The question deserves a little more thought though.

 

Adrian Wenner did some work measuring flight speed in the ‘60s, calculating flight speeds of 7.0 -7.8m/s for laden and un-laden ‘bees. He looked at wind towards and against the direction travel, but not really at cross-winds, and understood that the height at which you measure the wind speed matters. Honeybees reduce altitude as wind speed increases, and they also don’t travel as far. Foragers that work close to home come in to play, the long-distant team stay at home. Nectar sugar concentration becomes more important.

 

Sustained wind at hive sites can aggravate drifting, increase forager mortality, and change the energy budget for a colony, usually making things less favourable, even lethal for unmanaged colonies. How much all that matters, and at what point that begins to matter, only experience will tell.

 

Excellent, thank you.

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I have site's that are very windy with wind speeds over 12m/s on a good day, I have noticed the bees hug the ground and fly where there is the least wind, it is a good Rewarewa site, but the flowering coincides with the equinox winds so production is a bit hit and miss.

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Quote

 

If the wind is not gusty, is warm, the sun is shining, and the apiary is located on a honey bee pollinated crop, with shelter belts, I have not found a decrease in honey yield or hive health, nor queen matings

 

 

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Related but not an answer to your question, I had taken about 50 boxes of honey off some hives with bee escapes and I just left them with no cover over them as I was close to my shed, between my shed and the hives there was 2 sets of road works with a stop-go system. The boxes were on the back of my ute and as I was slowing down - speeding up for these road works I wanted to see at what speed bees fly out of boxes as you drive along with no covers over the boxes.When I slowed down to around 60kms lots of bees flew out of the boxes as the speed got up the bees slowed down and at 100km very little amount of bees were flying out. 

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I have noticed when our winds are over 90klm an hour our bees are all in the hive .

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90k/hr. That’s almost 50kts! Your hives must be well strapped down

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2 hours ago, Josh said:

90k/hr. That’s almost 50kts! Your hives must be well strapped down

   it only happens about twice a year.   LOL

my hives are sheltered and they have rocks on the lids

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6 hours ago, kaihoka said:

I have noticed when our winds are over 90klm an hour our bees are all in the hive

 

I am also inside at 90 kph winds.  Here on the Plains the hives need to withstand 130 kmh+

 

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I have 130 kmh....do I hear 140......140.......135 ........130 going once........twice............

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1 minute ago, yesbut said:

I have 130 kmh....do I hear 140......140.......135 ........130 going once........twice............

do ever get wind.?

you seemed so sheltered.

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3 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

do ever get wind.?

you seemed so sheltered.

The easterly gales that did so much damage everywhere a few years ago flattened about 20  of my Blackwoods about 25 years old. I'm still burning them.

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27 minutes ago, yesbut said:

The easterly gales that did so much damage everywhere a few years ago flattened about 20  of my Blackwoods about 25 years old. I'm still burning them.

we have burnt all the easily accessible beech.

they have such shallow roots.

 they just fell over and  could not cope with the easterly like the podocarps  did.

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I have discovered a simple formula. It is More Wind / Less Honey.

 

Wind is one of the major things i factor in when finding new sites, and that goes for the surrounding area as well as just the apiary itself. Wind is more important than morning sun, and some of the other things we typically look for.

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More wind just doesn't affect the bee colony, it affects floral sources

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