I just discovered last week that the Google Maps for our area (in some locations) have been updated to include images taken last last summer. This picture is of the beehives placed on the corner of 15th St. and 111th St. in Otsego, approximately a mile from where my beehives had been located. Now at first you will count twenty squares there, and you will think, "What's the big deal?" Then I will tell you that each of those squares is actually a pallet of six beehives. That makes 120 beehives in that one location. I also captured an image of the hives in the gravel pit located right across from my property. That had ten pallets of six hives each, making 60 beehives. Now I realized I was not dealing with 144 beehives last summer, but 180! Cruising around on Google Maps (wasting more time than I should have), I found several locations with twenty or twenty-five pallets of beehives. These were locations I was previously aware of, so I knew where to look. I did find one location I had not been previously aware of that had around 25 pallets of bees. The central location for this beekeeper had over sixty pallets of beehives. I know from driving by that they did have live bees in them. He may have been staging for transport down south by the time the images were taken there. It is hard to specifically date the Google Map images.
Not all Google Map images are this current, so where my hives are located now is not updated, so I can't see if there were any hives close enough to those to make a difference. You may or may not be able to find these by your own hives, although I would encourage you to look, especially if you are pretty sure there were hives there last summer. The updated images have leaves on the trees. The older images have bare trees. You can look at your own property and determine from that what time of year it was taken, and if it is from last year or longer ago.
This does help me see how many hives I was dealing with last year, and informs me even better on places that would not be good for placing hives this coming year. I did speak to an employee of the gravel pit next to my property last week and he was quite sure the commercial beekeeper will place bees there again this year. That was good to know. I will definitely plan on leaving my hives where they are for now.