Do weaker hives forage closer to home?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tyro, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    I have around 18 hives now of varying strength - a few are booming, a few are pretty weak. In observing their activity, I got thinking about foraging distances. Sunflowers are blooming now - one yard is right in the middle of several fields, other yards are varying distances away; up to 2 miles.

    I am wondering: weak hives have fewer foragers, yes? So, do the foragers from weak hives travel shorter distances (the idea being that they can make more trips in a day) - even to lesser nectar sources - than strong hives? If so, how do foragers determine this?

    It seems as though my weaker hives aren't able to take advantage of a heavy bloom (such as 160 acres of sunflower) like the strong hives in the same yard. Of course, that could simply be due to their lower numbers. But could something else be going on - such as greater distance discouraging foragers from a small hive from taking on the increased time and risk of foraging?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Mike
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I have noticed that in weaker hives the foragers are having to do double duty as guards and house bees also. I like to feed a little to help them out, this way they don't have to go for groceries.