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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Olympia, Washington, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    2013 0301 115.jpgMy one colony is making it through the winter. Today, in Olympia, Washington it hit an infernal 56 degrees. The bees were out in force for the first time and, since this is MY first winter and spring, I was wondering if the frenetic activity was a normal cleansing/orienting flight or preparation for a swarm.
    Jim in Olympia, Washington

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oshawa, Ontario
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    Orienting.
    After a few days cooped up inside, they need to re-orient.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Olympia, Washington, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    Thanks Gord. That is reassuring. They have slowed down quite a bit now and I notice that some of them are coming in with a load of pollen. Who knows where they got it. Nothing is in bloom here right now.
    Jim in Olympia, Washington

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Long Beach, Ca
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rieck View Post
    Thanks Gord. That is reassuring. They have slowed down quite a bit now and I notice that some of them are coming in with a load of pollen. Who knows where they got it. Nothing is in bloom here right now.
    Seems your bees would disagree with this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    seattle, washington
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    Looks like a healthy hive!
    Mine were bringing in pollen today as well, I dont know where they are getting it either.
    My hive does not look as busy as yours yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    Swarming on the first of March in Washington state? I would have guessed that your swarm period is closer to May/June. Say, what is the blue tape on the hive? From painting work? Or artificial propolising?

    -K
    Kevin M. Pfeiffer -- Berlin, Germany

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by codyjp View Post
    Seems your bees would disagree with this.
    there is always something in bloom ! its wether or not they can get at it do to the cold. in early feb we had 2 days of 60+ weather and both my colonies looked like they were returning from a picnic and they rolled around in the mustard hahaha. it looked like everything was frozen in the area.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rieck View Post
    2013 0301 115.jpgMy one colony is making it through the winter. Today, in Olympia, Washington it hit an infernal 56 degrees. The bees were out in force for the first time and, since this is MY first winter and spring, I was wondering if the frenetic activity was a normal cleansing/orienting flight or preparation for a swarm.
    yeah no swarming yet. watch for the bearding on the hivebody and listen for that distinct bzzzzzzzzzz around the hive. when youhear it youll know. it resembles the sound if you remove a frame with the queen on it and walk away hahahaha. """"WHERE IS SHE....NOOOOOO....OMG.....THE QUEEEEEEEN""

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    I would bet orientation. We're having a warm spell here, too, and my hive is doing the same thing at this very moment. There are so many bees out they're making a racket, and you can't get near the hive. They did this once before a week or so ago (after 2 months cooped up), and I was a little concerned they were swarming. After a moment of study I noticed that a lot of the bees were coming out and sunning themselves, and I could clearly see the pattern of the orientation flights. That evening they were all back in the hive, buzzing contentedly.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    What a lovely photo! Yay for spring!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Olympia, Washington, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    @ KMP - The tape is artificial propolis. I had to do some manipulations last fall and didn't think the bees would be able to get any propolizing done themselves in preparation for winter. I didn't want any unnecessary drafts.
    Jim in Olympia, Washington

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    I thought the same thing my first year. I thought for sure my bees were swarming, I couldnt get a answer fast enough.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    Pollen is probably from trees.

    When robbing is occurring, there is usually fighting in the front. I still have trouble figuring this out though, this my 4th spring. Oy. That orienting is a sight to behold, isn't it?
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    well since they were cooped up all winter they first take turns getting out to do "cleansing flights" bathroom lol then after that they'll start cleaning out the hive of dead bees and chewed cappings also start collecting water for crystallized honey and of course drinking.most of the fall bees wintered over.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,093

    Default Re: My First Spring, Too! Orienting flights or swarm?

    Your blue painter tape does it stay on through the winter and does it come off with out leaving any glue behind?

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