Distance from the Apiary as a Factor in Alfalfa Pollination1

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Experiments conducted in northern Utah indicated that the distribution of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) on an alfalfa field is modified by various influences besides distance from the colonies. Because of these other factors, generalizations concerning the effect of distance from colonies on the distribution of foraging honey bees cannot be made on the basis of experiments herein reported.

A slight negative relationship between bee populations and distance from colonies in alfalfa fields was found in some of the experiments reported. In two fields where the distance was less than 600 feet, horizontal stratification of the field population was found only in the one with an average population of over two bees per square yard. The other field had less than one bee per square yard and no significant changes in population were observed up to 550 feet from the apiary.

In another location bee populations decreased beyond 3,000 feet, but other variable factors on the field made it impossible to attribute these decreases solely to increasing distance from the apiary.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1960

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