Orientation flights

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by letitbee, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    How soon after a new bee is born do they take their orientation flight? I have been watching my hive the last couple days and the bees seem to be doing that lazy figure 8 around the front of the hive in the early afternoon. My hive doesn't get sunshine on it all day but it does get it sporadically throughout the day. They seem to come out when the hive is in full sun, fly around a bit and go back inside. I don't see it as much when the hive is shaded. With new bees being born all the time, do they wait until there is a group of them and all go together or do they go out as soon as they emerge?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They do house keeping and babysitting jobs for a week or two before flying. Since 1500 to 2000 can emerge daily, there are a lot of orientation flights.
     

  3. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong;
    I find on the orientation flights , that a large number of bees will be going up & down in front of the hive to a height of 3 - 4 ft. above the hive.

    This seems to last about 20 minutes or so.

    Murrell
     
  4. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    Murell, that is what I see, you can tell when the foragers come back because they just appear and go right into the hive, but the learners just kinda buzz around for a bit and then head inside. My hive is right in my yard so I watch the door and they were doing it again today. I had tons of capped brood when I last inspected about 10 days ago so I am guessing a bunch of new girls are emerging every day. I'm so glad that everything seems okay. I am planning on about 10 hives next year so I was using this year to learn. Now if I could just get them to start drawing comb in the honey super I put on. :roll:
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    When the nectar's coming in they'll do it without you having to do anything. If you're desperate, feed them and they'll build.

    sorry--this comment was intended for a different string.
     
  6. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    My only goal is for my colony to survive the winter, if I do happen to get some honey out of the deal then that would be awesome. I don't go in my hive too often but I am always impressed by the amount of work the bees can do. My hive is a combined from another that went queenless and is now thriving so I guess I was expecting them to draw out the honey super i short order. I popped the lid last night and they are starting to draw out comb in the super and they are also chewing on the wood on the top bars of the frames.
     
  7. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I have some wax foundation and some plastic foundation. I have found that the bees definately prefer the wax foundation over plastic. We want to crush and strain our honey so we went with the plastic for the medium honey supers and 2 of the 3 hives were slow to build comb. Feeding helps but you have to check on them periodically so the little minions don't start capping sugar water.
     
  8. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Today in what I thought was my smallest hive (1 deep 2 mediums) I witnessed orientation flights of epic proportions. I could only hope that that many bees are going to be going out to forage. Early in May when we captured the said hive (swarm) my wife got to see them in the air during the swarm. She said this orientation flight looked like that swarm except it was low to the ground at the hive entrance; there were that many bees though. If they forage tomorrow with those kinds of numbers I will be impressed!
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    You've got us rooting for ya. :yahoo:
     
  10. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    question: so what if they do cap sugar water...what i mean is if your goal is to have them build comb and survive the winter and your not gonna be harvesting honey...does it matter if they cap sugar water...i understand its not got the nutritional value of honey...but its common practice to feed thick sugar syrup in the fall if your hives are light...keep in mind im asking cause i dont know :|
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    It is a good thing. If you get too much, freeze it and feed it back when needed in the winter. It makes a great, easy feed when it's too cold for them to take it from other sources.
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Just make sure that, when the time comes to extract, you can tell the difference between honey comb and syrup combs. Some less than honest beekeepers have been known to (intentionally?) pass off capped syrup for the real thing. :roll:
     
  13. rast

    rast New Member

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    My wife was just fussing the other day about the frame's in the chest freezer :D .
     
  14. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Go on craigs list, buy a used freezer and put in the basement/garage/honey house. Anything to keep Momma happy. After all, if Momma ain't happy-ain't nobody happy. :bow:
     
  15. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    An unhappy Momma in the house is much worse than a swarm of mad bees in your bonnet. :cry:
     
  16. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    With regards to the orientation flights, if you are really looking, you will see the bees first in front of the colony, then making small at first circles around the colony, then back to the hover position in front.Progressively the circles get bigger and bigger but always back to the same position in front. Bees are noting landmarks around the hive in relationship to the front of colony, thats why if you move a hive 20 feet away the foragers will not find the hive atleast for awhil, if ever, and is good way to build up a weak hive by placing it on the same stand as the one moved--all those foragers will enter the " new " hive unchallenged as they are bringing something in instead of taking something out ( robbers look and act like they don't belong )
     
  17. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    That is one way i will make momma VERY Unhappy......... Because i already have 5 refridgeration devices working in the garage for my beer hobby :D :shock:

    Lol
     
  18. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    HAHA...I would assume you need those fridges because you BREW your own beer? If they are for consumption, my hat is off to you Sir! :bow:
     
  19. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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  20. rast

    rast New Member

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    Whoa up there, Mama has an upright and the fridge freezer, I have the chest which I share. Just had some of her stuff covered with some frames at the time.