Beekeeping with Google Maps

Here’s a quick video I made over my lunch break yesterday that shows how I use Google Maps to figure out where my bees might be flying.

Honey bees have been known to forage as far as 13km (about 8 miles), but the usual number that’s thrown around is the 5km maximum (about 3 miles). As with almost everything in beekeeping, there is no one precise answer because there are about 10 billion factors to consider first, most of them having to do with the local climate. Honey bees won’t fly 5km if they can find everything they need close to their hives. A 1km forage radius or less is not uncommon in areas with plentiful forage. However, 1-3km seems to be the average, or so most of the big textbooks tell me.

So here’s how I use Google Maps to calculate the approximate forage area of my bees (if you didn’t watch the video):
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