General Question

XCNuse's avatar

How far are honey bees willing to fly away from nests?

Asked by XCNuse (1187 points ) July 23rd, 2008

I’m curious because we have a guy who has 2 honey bee boxes down the street, like a mile and a half or more, and there have been lots of bees around our house, could it be the same ones?

I mean I guess they will go as far as they will to get to flowers, but almost 2 miles up a mountain?

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4 Answers

marinelife's avatar

The distance that a honeybee will fly to forage depends on the availability of desirable food sources and the competition from other colonies. But studies have shown honeybees will fly as much as 6 miles to visit a nectar source and will readily travel 2 miles.

From here

Harp's avatar

Honeybees can go up to 6 miles afield for food, but it’s not likely that all the bees in your yard are from hives a mile and a half away. Even in suburban areas there will be wild hives in places no one will ever see.

We had a neighbor who wanted to install a hive just a few houses down from us (we live in the near suburbs of a big city). There was already a fair population of bees in our neighborhood, and some people on our block were up in arms, thinking that we would be swarmed with the 40,000 bees from this new hive. A months-long battle in the city council ensued to try to stop the installation of the hive, but that effort failed (I supported the new hive). The hive went in, and lo and behold, no one, even neighbors saw any increase in the number of bees in their yards.

Because they range so far, their numbers are diluted tremendously over a huge area. All this to tell you that you may be seeing a few bees from those hives, but most are probably coming from many other sources as well.

pathfinder's avatar

I don t know much about honeybee but they has a kept in core themself the returning way.This could mean that they know the born place from.Unless they know werywell the destination.

XCNuse's avatar

Well I’m up in our mountain house up in Dahlonega right now, I mean I’m sure there are some nests somewhere but we don’t really see any other bees up here, wasps see plenty of those and those mud whatever things, but the only bees nests i’ve come across are the boxes down the road a ways.

6 miles… long way for a little bee :)

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