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Author Topic: How many bees does it take.....  (Read 3262 times)
Jerrymac
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« on: January 14, 2008, 02:51:30 PM »

Figure that no bee makes a second trip, how many bees do you think it takes to carry off one gallon of honey
or syrup?

Just wondering because in less than an hour a half gallon was polished off. I mean bone dry. This is in a flat pan with old broken up comb for floats. The cells in the comb is cleaned out and every speck of the half gallon is gone.
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2008, 02:55:53 PM »

I had 3 hives suck down a gallon in a little over 2 hours last week. Same set up, using a big flat pan with sticks for floats.
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2008, 03:03:46 PM »

I have no idea how many bees it would take. A lot, that 's for sure. At lease 20. grin


 grin grin grin, JP
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2008, 03:05:09 PM »

It's been said a bee can carry one tenth of a teaspoon (if i remember correctly& true) just figure out how many Tsps in an ounce, than move on upwards. I am always blwon away by bee numbers. Miles flown and i get dizzy trying to figure out how many bees are "produced" in a year in one hive. Just dizzying. Even up north.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2008, 03:19:45 PM »

So ten bees per teaspoon.                    10

3 teaspoons to make a tablespoon.         30

16 tablespoons to make a cup               480

4 cups to make a quart                       1520

4 quarts to make a gallon                    6080

Thought it would be more than that.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001723.html
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2008, 03:22:53 PM »

Now that measuremnet was given for nectar, a thinner product than syrup. Just to throw a monkey wrench in your numbers. I thought it would be more too!
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2008, 03:44:26 PM »

If a bee can hold 1/10 teaspoon volume wouldn't that be any liquid.... by volume?
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2008, 03:51:03 PM »

If a bee can hold 1/10 teaspoon volume wouldn't that be any liquid.... by volume?
Yes, unless a bee cant carry the weight of 1/10 tsp of honey or syrup for example. Maybe they can only fly w/ half a tank of honey, but full w/ nectar?
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2008, 03:51:10 PM »

6000 bees isnt too bad.  It might take my NUC 3 days to finish that gallon off though.  It only has 2 frames of bees on it.
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2008, 03:52:39 PM »

If a bee can hold 1/10 teaspoon volume wouldn't that be any liquid.... by volume?
Yes, unless a bee cant carry the weight of 1/10 tsp of honey or syrup for example. Maybe they can only fly w/ half a tank of honey, but full w/ nectar?

Well considering that when you smoke bees, they run in and fill up their honey stomachs with honey, I would say they can probably carry that weight.  They just cant fly real fast. grin
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2008, 04:01:53 PM »

I'm not sure, but one stat is that a honeybee gathers enough nectar in her life to produce 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey.

Looking a tsp, but there is no way that a honeybee hold a 1/10th tsp in at a time. There are 20-30 honey drips or more in a tsp (I stopped counting at 20), and a honey drip is almost the size of a bee's abdomen.

Other than that I have have no idea, but I'd say 10,000's, many trips.  But when on the hive, each trip is very short so they can take lots of trips.

And what if they are small cell bees??? rolleyes

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Rick
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2008, 04:17:00 PM »

[And what if they are small cell bees???]

If they are small cell they are probably Michael Bush's bees.

Jerry, I'd tell Mike you want your honey back.

Its not nice to steal, and that shouldn't be tolerated on this family forum.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2008, 04:19:10 PM »

I'm not sure, but one stat is that a honeybee gathers enough nectar in her life to produce 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey.

Ok but. There is always a but. How many teaspoons is that nectar before all the water is evaporated? I guess we really need to know the volume of a honeybee's stomach.

But I have small cell bees.
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2008, 04:26:46 PM »

[But I have small cell bees.]

Oh the humanity!!

I think Michael Bush stole your bees too!!

You better do something fast!

You've been infiltrated by little theiver bees!
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SteveSC
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2008, 06:33:30 PM »

They say a bee will make 1\12th teaspoon of honey in it's life span.  That being the case I doubt there's a honeybee any where that can carry 1\10th of a teaspoon of any liquid at one time.  There no telling how many trips it takes that one bee to gather enough ingredients for his 1\12th of a teaspoon.  If he were hauling out 1\10th teaspoon every trip we'd all need alot less bees to fill the honey jars.

I'm with Scad on this one: one bee - one trip - 1\10th teaspoon - no way...
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2008, 07:01:03 PM »

However many it is ,,When they really want to they can carry it off faster than I would ever believe. Its like a bunch of sharks on a feeding frenzy shocked
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2008, 07:18:07 PM »

I thought this was going to be a joke....like how many bees does it take to screw in a light bulb?
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2008, 08:48:03 PM »

They say a bee will make 1\12th teaspoon of honey in it's life span.  That being the case I doubt there's a honeybee any where that can carry 1\10th of a teaspoon of any liquid at one time.  There no telling how many trips it takes that one bee to gather enough ingredients for his 1\12th of a teaspoon.  If he were hauling out 1\10th teaspoon every trip we'd all need alot less bees to fill the honey jars.

I'm with Scad on this one: one bee - one trip - 1\10th teaspoon - no way...

Once again. That is 1/12 teaspoon of honey, but how much thin nectar does it take to make 1/12 teaspoon of thick honey.
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« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2008, 07:35:53 AM »

Quote
Once again. That is 1/12 teaspoon of honey, but how much thin nectar does it take to make 1/12 teaspoon of thick honey.

I realise that but there's no way a honeybee is going to carry 1\10th of a teaspoon anywhere on one trip...

:the U.S. drop, 1/60 of a teaspoon or 1/360 of a U.S. fluid ounce (approximately 82 μL).:

The bee would have to have one of those "tiny buckets" to carry the 6 drops of water that equates to
1\10th of a teaspoon.  They're good but I doubt they're that good.  What do ya think..?
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« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2008, 08:13:53 AM »

I am just getting back onto my new and improved computer and can't wait to get back on and read all the stuff in this particular thread (along with other ones, hee, hee).  Talkin' and readin' at ya.  Have a wonderful and greatest of days.  Cindi
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« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2008, 08:33:31 AM »

i think its that one honeybee will produce 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in their lifetime.
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« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2008, 08:49:36 AM »

Hmm...did a google search, and I could only find one reference to honeybee stomach size, and that was that a medium size load for a bee was 12-15mg.  I can't verify that.  Since that is a weight, and nectar, water, and honey all weigh different, there isn't a good conversion to volume, that would be around .003 tsp. 
That is roughly 1000 bee trips for a tsp, and while that seems high, if you stop and think about how many bees are around, and how many trips they take, I don't really think that is outrageously high.  If you have 20,000 bees in the hive (assuming early spring) and half of them are foraging, that is 10,000 bees at a time that are collecting nectar, they can make quick work of 10 tsp's.

I don't know if the math is correct, but if its not, I'm sure somebody will correct it grin

Rick
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« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2008, 08:56:28 AM »

Excellent comments, and absolutely so interesting. 

Fully cured honey is nectar reduced to 17.8% moisture content.  Now put that into your equations.  Hee, hee, have a wonderful and best of days.  Cindi
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« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2008, 09:53:04 AM »

I agree w/ those who disagree w/ me. The amount I recolected is abviously in a lifetime, not a trip, sorry. Still, I get blown away by bee numbers. For example, how much honey, in its entirety(consumed, stored, robbed) is made in one year. Oh , yea, you know its winter when bee forums discuss this stuff!
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« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2008, 12:55:24 PM »

Hmm...did a google search, and I could only find one reference to honeybee stomach size, and that was that a medium size load for a bee was 12-15mg.


So let us go with 13.5 mg. =  1 bee  If my figuring is right that would be .0135 (1000/13.5 = 74.074074~) So we will round that off to 74 = 1 gram

1 gram         =       74 bees
28.35 g = 1 oz =  2097.9 bees    (2098 bees)
1 oz = 2 Tablespoons
16 tbls = 1 cup = 16,784 bees
4 cups = 1 quart = 67,136 bees
4 quarts = 1 gal. = 268,544 bees.     That's closer to what I thought it should be.

Check my math.  http://www.nutribase.com/convert.shtml
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« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2008, 01:15:54 PM »

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4 quarts = 1 gal. = 268,544 bees.     That's closer to what I thought it should be.

268,544 trips  That still doesn't say anything about the number of bees. rolleyes  You will have to time how long a bee is sucking up syrup at a time.

If that were 5 minutes sucking and 5 minutes delivering (10 minutes roundtrip), then in 24 hours there would be 144 trips for 2000 bees.
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« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2008, 01:39:06 PM »

Where are you going with this? The original question was.....

Figure that no bee makes a second trip, how many bees do you think it takes to carry off one gallon of honey
or syrup?

No round trips.... No flying distance....
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« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2008, 01:50:45 PM »

looks like 1/4 of a million.
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« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2008, 02:22:32 PM »

Awesome. Now, How many times around the globe does a hive fly in a season? That should take 'till spring flow and warm weather even for us northerners!
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« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2008, 02:52:33 PM »

Where are you going with this? The original question was.....

Figure that no bee makes a second trip, how many bees do you think it takes to carry off one gallon of honey
or syrup?

No round trips.... No flying distance....

Sorry, I was just going with the number of bees.
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Rick
Jerrymac
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« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2008, 03:24:22 PM »

If that were 5 minutes sucking and 5 minutes delivering (10 minutes roundtrip), then in 24 hours there would be 144 trips for 2000 bees.

Is that "(10 minutes roundtrip)" a flying time you added in?

Has anyone timed how long it takes for a bee to load up? How about unload? And how fast do bees fly?

So now if we can answer all those questions we can figure out how many bees actually flew the 100 yards to the feeding area and sucked down 1 gallon in one hour.  grin
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« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2008, 03:57:54 PM »

I'm not sure, but one stat is that a honeybee gathers enough nectar in her life to produce 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey.

Stinking lazy bees. Either my bees need to produce more than that or else there will be repercusions!
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« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2008, 10:34:17 PM »

I watched last summer intently when I was doing some outside feeding of the bees, in that communal feeder.  My bees must really be pigs, because  noticed time and time again that it took the bees about 15 seconds to suck up enough syrup to fill their honey stomach and be on their way.  Pretty approximate, but pretty close at the same time.  Have a great and wonderful day.  Cindi
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« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2008, 08:28:39 AM »

If that were 5 minutes sucking and 5 minutes delivering (10 minutes roundtrip), then in 24 hours there would be 144 trips for 2000 bees.

Is that "(10 minutes roundtrip)" a flying time you added in?

Has anyone timed how long it takes for a bee to load up? How about unload? And how fast do bees fly?

So now if we can answer all those questions we can figure out how many bees actually flew the 100 yards to the feeding area and sucked down 1 gallon in one hour.  grin

No, I was assuming syrup on the hive.  Even if its only yards away, that would only be seconds.
Anyway, I was pulling those time numbers out of my a**.  Trying to make it real.

Quote
Stinking lazy bees. Either my bees need to produce more than that or else there will be repercusions!
  Yours must be because mine work their wings to the bone...

Rick
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