Swarm or Orientation flight? Video
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California, USA
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    9

    Default Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    I few days ago I posted a question asking what my bees were doing and there was a difference of opinion. One said it was an large orientation flight and the other a swarm. Well they are doing it again, a large group of bees exiting the hive flying around for a while and then returning. When I took this video, it appears they were all returning to the hive (the hive with the brown box was not involved; it always has bees hanging out). Swarm or Orientation flight?

    Last edited by onespeedbiker; 05-19-2016 at 02:51 PM.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    1,046

    Default Re: Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    Swarm or practice swarm. Orientations do not usually venture that far from the hive.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    If I didn't make it clear, this hive just did this a couple of days ago. I might want to add that these bees never seem to beard anywhere, as I have seen when a swarm leaves a hive. They just fly around for about 15 minutes and then go back in the hive. BTW the weather has been very nice, so I can't see if they want to swarm they would have delayed it for a better time.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,046

    Default Re: Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    That's why I said practice swarm. The workers are ready, but the queen is not. I have seen this behavior in my OB hive. Where they did this three times over the course of a week. Then the fourth time the did not return. Could be heading out with a virgin queen leaving on a mating flight also. It's conjecture.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    6,172

    Default Re: Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    It's not orientation. I'd say practice swarm as well.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    I've got a few monster hives and have never seen an orientation flight like that.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Oyster Bay, NY, USA
    Posts
    476

    Default Re: Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    I agree, they are way too far from the hive to be orienting. The other day I said it was probably orienting, but that was before seeing the video.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Searcy, Arkansas
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    Swarm prep for sure.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    This hive did the same thing about 3 months ago, one time, but I never saw any bees leave. Of course I could have missed it, I will keep my eye on what's happening.
    Last edited by onespeedbiker; 05-19-2016 at 08:48 PM.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
    Posts
    1,183

    Default Re: Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    Just the sound says swarm or practice swarm to me. I heard it too much this spring.....

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    5,183

    Default Re: Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    The bees flying around randomly in the air say it's a swarm of some kind. Orienting bees fly back and forth in front of the hive for a few seconds and then fly off into the world - swarming bees fly around in a cloud until the swarm moves off or condenses in a tree. Swarming bees leave the hive differently - they tend to march out on the landing strip and immediatly fly off of it - orienting bees tend to climb up the hive body before taking off. Swarming or orienting only take a few minutes - robbing goes on and on and on.
    Since '09-75H-T-Z6b

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Swarm or Orientation flight? Video

    Yes, I see it was definitely a swarm. My neighbor contacted me today and said the swarm that occurred 3 months ago, handed on a tree near hie bedroom window. He said at the time he didn't know I was keeping bees, so he called a bee keeper but they flew off before they could be captured. The neighbor said he saw the swarm in my yard a couple of days before and realized I was keeping bees and that he would contact me if he say a swarm again in his yard, so I could "bring them back"; it sounded like he thought of bees like a pet rabbit, but I feel very lucky to have such a neighbor. Anyway, since this one hive has swarmed twice in 3-4 months (not absconded) and continued to be a working and growing hive, I figure it must be a very healthy. I am curious on how much honey these swarms take with them,

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