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Effective bee foraging range for honey production

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Hi all

 

What is the everyone's thought on the effective foraging range for bees to produce nectar.  im not looking for the maximum range they will fly to forage, just the best range that they produce honey on. 

 

Thanks everyone   

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closer the better.

 

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I read somewhere that trials were done on the positive/deficit of distance for nectar.  I think it was 11 km, at which point the bees use more resources than they harvest and the hive will deplete itself.

So, as @tristan said.  The closer the better.

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13 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

I read somewhere that trials were done on the positive/deficit of distance for nectar.  I think it was 11 km, at which point the bees use more resources than they harvest and the hive will deplete itself.

So, as @tristan said.  The closer the better.

I think that would be 11klm in perfect weather .

I would not want to be a bee that set out to fly 11klms away on a perfect morning here , chances of it staying that way in time to get home are slim .

I think these long distances are probably accurate for continental climates but NZs very changeable weather would reduce the economics of long distance foraging .

 

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1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

I think that would be 11klm in perfect weather .

I would not want to be a bee that set out to fly 11 kms away on a perfect morning here , chances of it staying that way in time to get home are slim .

I think these long distances are probably accurate for continental climates but NZs very changeable weather would reduce the economics of long distance foraging .

 

Yes.  But the part of closer the better still applies

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4 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Yes.  But the part of closer the better still applies

I am very pleased I have lots of flowering kamahi in sheltered locations close to my hives at this time of yr .

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6 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

I am very pleased I have lots of flowering kamahi in sheltered locations close to my hives at this time of yr .

Can they get out and get it?

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4 hours ago, Bighands said:

Can they get out and get it?

They can today 😁

 But most days there is a few hours they can get out .

Edited by kaihoka

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Lucky you,still cold and wet here.

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37 minutes ago, Bighands said:

Lucky you,still cold and wet here.

I suppose you'd say it was cold and wet on Monday too. It was more like bloody miserable on the bikes through the gorge.

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2 hours ago, Bighands said:

Lucky you,still cold and wet here.

Still optimistic that the wind and rain will be all used up by christmas and the rest of the summer will be good .

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4 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Still optimistic that the wind and rain will be all used up by christmas and the rest of the summer will be good .

So am I but it takes a lot of patience.

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3K easily. That's why apiarys were 2 miles apart. I have seen them gain honey from a source 5 mile away but place is of course better. Having said that we used to have one apiary in a really good spot and to get Rewa Rewa they had to fly over another apiary about 3 km away. Despite this they did better as they were always in better order. When somebody places an apiary closer than 2 km then they might as well be in the same paddock because they are all working the same flowers.

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We used to place apiaries at 700m  intervals ....  we have a site one k from the honey shed and they don't hassle it.

Edited by jamesc

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11 minutes ago, jamesc said:

We used to place apiaries at 700m  intervals ....  we have a site one k from the honey shed and they don't hassle it.

If you used to place them 700m apart. Do you have them further apart now?

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Um .... yes . They are several hundred k's apart now ! East and West coast where we can squeeze in without annoying too many people. We get 96 hives on a truck , so plonk the truckload down in one place. Most are extensive bush sites with several thousand hectares to forage on . They produce a crop ..... so I guess it works.

I see no future in trundling around all day working sites of twelve. By the time you've relit the smoker, rolled a durrie and had a cupof green tea, the day tends to run away and all of a sudden it's 'Starting Time.'

Edited by jamesc

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I remember reading somewhere that no more than 600metres was the optimal distance, no idea quite how or why that is.

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11 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

I read somewhere that trials were done on the positive/deficit of distance for nectar.  I think it was 11 km, at which point the bees use more resources than they harvest and the hive will deplete itself.

So, as @tristan said.  The closer the better.

afaik most honey is from within 1km from the hive. however bees can and certain do, find sources miles away and ignore everything else.

what it comes down to is their ability to find it, which is partly down to hive strength. but also find it without finding something they like better.

the land aera for them to cover even a few km's out is massive.

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39 minutes ago, jamesc said:

. We get 96 hives on a truck , so plonk the truckload down in one place. Most are extensive bush sites with several thousand hectares to forage on . They produce a crop ..... so I guess it works.

 

What are the chances of 50 hives producing the same crop with less work for you ?

Edited by yesbut

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A site of 96 must take up a heap of space. I thought my 4 take up enough space. I take it your not on farms taking up 'valuable' grazing land.

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2 hours ago, tristan said:

afaik most honey is from within 1km from the hive. however bees can and certain do, find sources miles away and ignore everything else.

what it comes down to is their ability to find it, which is partly down to hive strength. but also find it without finding something they like better.

the land aera for them to cover even a few km's out is massive.

Do bees priortise their foraging on return per flower.

Will they travel 7 klm for one source over 2 klm for another because the source far away is giving more nectar.

Or is it habit . Once a bee finds a source of nectar they generally work it till its finished.

 

 

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10 hours ago, yesbut said:

What are the chances of 50 hives producing the same crop with less work for you ?

True ..... we are all chasing more money for less work .   300 on Manuka will generate twice plus those on non manuka .... for the same amount of work.... but take off that the specialized extracting machnery, landownwer royalty, flying cost , wages to employees who think you are making a fortune and need a art of it .....  non manuka starts to look not to bad.

And of course it's a numbers game. The more hives  ......  the bigger the potential.

 

In the present economic climate I see the way forward as running fewer hives with contract labour in the busy times and closing the shed door in mid May to go and get a real job.

 

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15 hours ago, Bighands said:

Lucky you,still cold and wet here.

Let us know when the sun shines down. 

Be a tough place Otira?

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3 hours ago, jamesc said:

True ..... we are all chasing more money for less work .   300 on Manuka will generate twice plus those on non manuka .... for the same amount of work.... but take off that the specialized extracting machnery, landownwer royalty, flying cost , wages to employees who think you are making a fortune and need a art of it .....  non manuka starts to look not to bad.

And of course it's a numbers game. The more hives  ......  the bigger the potential.

 

In the present economic climate I see the way forward as running fewer hives with contract labour in the busy times and closing the shed door in mid May to go and get a real job.

 

I was really wondering about the truckload all falling over each other.

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On 21/11/2019 at 6:10 AM, jamesc said:

 

 

In the present economic climate I see the way forward as running fewer hives with contract labour in the busy times and closing the shed door in mid May to go and get a real job.

 


which is how it was done pre Manuka 

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