Location, Location, Location

This is just me wondering about something. It doesn’t have much to do with anything.

Two years ago today, I checked the honey super in one of my hives (in Logy Bay, Newfoundland) and found the thickest frames of honey I’ve ever seen.

Thick frames of honey coming in at about 3kg each --- about six pounds.  (July 22, 2014.)

Thick frames of honey coming in at about 3kg each — about six pounds. (July 22, 2014.)

The one hive I have this year that might make me some honey, as of last weekend, hasn’t collected a drop of nectar in its honey super. I know my colonies this year, still recovering from the attack of the shrews, were in hard shape to begin with, but I wonder if my new location (about a kilometre from the North Atlantic Ocean) is less suitable for honey bees.

A friend of mine, who got into beekeeping a few years ago (until one catastrophe after another put an end to it), kept his bees in an area that was surrounded by coniferous trees, a forest of spruce trees that don’t provide nectar for honey bees. Even if his bees hadn’t come to a sad end, I question if his bees would have had enough to forage on to stay alive. I’m wondering about mine now too. One third of my bees’ forage area is the North Atlantic Ocean. And it’s cold. I can often see a fog bank rising above the Labrador Current from my house. While I see considerably more forage for my bees than a endless forest of spruce trees, I can’t help but ask, is it enough?

I probably won’t know until next year when I have some fully established colonies again. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if my pessimistic suspicions are wrong.

Mapping Honey Bee Forage Area

Do you ever wonder where your honey bees go to collect nectar and pollen? I do. I spend hours watching my bees come and go from my beeyard. I still don’t know where they go, but I know what direction they head when they leave and what direction they come back from. My hives are surrounded by trees. I can look up at a certain tree top at a certain time of day and see hundreds of bees a minute whizzing past one another like cars on a freeway. That particular tree, which happens to be a single dog berry tree in a thick ring of spruce trees, seems to be a visual marker for the bees that says, “This is home.” It’s a hub of honey bee traffic. But I digress.

I don’t know exactly where my bees go to get nectar and pollen, but a free online tool, that came to my attention via Happy Hour at the Top Bar, allows me to map out the potential forage area of my bees. Let’s cut to the chase:

Go to FreeMapTools.com and click the link for “Radius Around Point,” or the map underneath it that looks like this:


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