Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer has been going great at the apiary. With one exception, every hive we have is a winner! Al Carle, the state bee inspector came by and said our hives looked exceptional. We'll be taking in honey this year for sure.

It's been a banner year, I think anyhow, with great weather and lots of nectar out there. Priscilla and I have worked hard, but it's nothing compared to our "girls."

Because I was curious, I wanted to know how many bee flights there were, on average per hive, per minute. So, I took a stop watch and counted fifty flights, that took around 15 seconds each time. It was hard to count as fast as I saw bees taking off. So, we have about 200 flights per minute per hive. Also, I did this little experiment early in the morning, hardly peak flying time! So, in reality these numbers are low. Still, they are stunning.

I counted the number of honey bee flights per minute and averaged them to come up with this"

200 Flights per minute per hive
1,200 Flights per hour per hive
14,400 Flight per day per hive
100,800 Flights per week per hive
432,000 Flights per month per hive
2,160,000 Flights per year per hive

The following is the number of flights for all our beehives together. We have 20 hives:

4,000 Minute
24,000 Hour
288,000 Day
2,016,000 Week
8,640,000 Month
43,200,000 Year

So, since a bee visits on average 100 flowers per flight, that means
our bees will visit

400,000 Flowers per minute
2,400,000 Flowers per day
28,800,000 Flowers per week
201,600,000 Flowers per month
864,000,000 Flowers per year.

Flower power indeed. I tried to be conservative with my estimates, so it's possible our bees could visit a billion flowers this year. Out bees visited 400,000 in the time it took you to read this. That's nearly half a million flowers.

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