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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm new to beekeeping. I bought 2 nucs this year from a guy in Vermont on 6/2/2014. Got them home, put into my new hives, everything seems great. Both are doing pretty well. I call them "A Team" and "B Team". "A Team" is normal and easygoing. They build textbook looking comb and I can easily handle them without protection.

"B Team" is a different story. They build new comb kind of funky, bur comb, and will sting me occasionally (I work with both hives in the same manner). When I do hive inspections, they go a little crazy and fly around WAY more than "A Team". a few more drone cells than "A Team" but nothing too crazy. Queen is laying well and both hives have both deeps drawn out and larva everywhere. I just added those mediums on July 5th.

I live in Lake Placid NY and the temps are mid 50's - mid 70's this time of year. normally they are all in their hives in the early morning. THIS morning "B Team" had a group about the diameter of a softball on the outside of the hive which i thought was odd seeing that the sun was not really up yet and it was in the mid 50's. They the sun came up and they seemed a little more crazy. I did see more drone activity in "B Team" (the crazy bees) than "A Team"

Here is a video from today: http://youtu.be/1Cb1L2G3FfM

Here is a view from the front: http://youtu.be/fJLj-hOZkBc

I was curious to see what was going on so i did a complete hive inspection this afternoon and didn't really see anything out of the ordinary. I just did an inspection on 7/5 when i added the medium hive. Not much of the medium hives is drawn out but they were still very active finishing out the 2nd deep, Its pretty well all drawn out though. The only stuff not completely drawn was the outside frames so i moved them to the center today.

My question is, does this look like "normal" behavior? The other hive was not nearly this active today.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Troy
 

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Looks pretty normal for a string hive. The other hive looks slow but it could be the difference to when the sun warms the 2 hives up.
 

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Looks like my hives on any given afternoon/evening. I would say orientation flights. But what do I know, I'm a newb as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. Yep, BeeMoose, they generally are busy but this was kind of over what they typically do and the other hive was nothing like this. pretty sharp contrast.
 

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a "sharp contrast" between hives is often normal. I have some bee hives from California packages next to some hives from south side of the adirondac mountains, local nucs, they behave a lot different. they fly at 10 degrees different temperatures, the Californians do not fly on cool mornings. they buzz around the hives different, they beard different. but the hive strength and production is about the same. some do a bit better or worse but it is not according to where they came from. the California italians are more consistent in size and light color. the locals are darker but even within a hive they vary a lot in size and color, they are mixed for sure. do not get too nervous if 2 hives do not act exactly alike. if one is a bit too hot to handle then re-queen... if you are at lake placid consider the canton/Potsdam bee discussion group meetings the last wed. evening each month, I travel about the same distance from the opposite direction it is quite good. look up " local living venture" consider this a personal invitation. there are no dues, there are several good work-shops a year. there are organized group purchase co-ops for bees etc. some times. last meeting there were commercial to I am thinking about bees next year types, ages 13 [ newer beekeeper] to a 90 plus year old [daughter of a beekeeper] with a hive in her eaves. I think this is a diverse group, all are welcome.
 

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I'm pretty new to beekeeping myself. I do a lot of observing too. I have seen mine act like that and i am trying to determine if it is orientation flights or preparation for swarming. I had the same behavior on Sunday afternoon, so i watched the hive for maybe an hour and they all went back inside. I then put on my suit and did a hive inspection, did not find any queen cells. Really would like to be able to make a distinction between orientation and swarming characteristics.

G.
 

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"A Team" is normal and easygoing. They build textbook looking comb and I can easily handle them without protection.
"B Team" is a different story. They build new comb kind of funky, bur comb, and will sting me occasionally. When I do hive inspections, they go a little crazy and fly around WAY more than "A Team"
I know what you mean. I work with these two guys, one is a good worker, does everything textbook and gets the job done. He doesn't care when the boss comes around to see what he's been up to.
The other guy is mean and ornery. His workmanship is a little sloppy but he gets the job completed as well. He doesn't care for the boss too much and will defend his work against anyone's when the day is done. :)
 

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Looks like orientation flights.

I used to work hives without protection. It doesn't make sense, and it doesn't do anything good for the bees.

I now almost always use some smoke, and always use protection. A little smoke, then wait about 1 minute, then go in.
 

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I am a new beekeeper also, so I observe my hives as often as possible. I currently have three hives, and I often observe activity similar to your videos. This activity is normally limited to one hive at a time, but I have seen two of them doing it before. Most of my bees seemed to be facing the hive and simply hovering up away from the hive for just a few moments each. I have decided these must be orientation flights. As luck would have it, my son and I were watching my hives one day when suddenly, the bees swarmed from my strongest hive. I had not noticed any unusual activity at the entrance of this hive and it was inspected a week before the swarm. During the swarm the bees came out by the hundreds and began flying around in a giant circular cloud, reaching high above the hive. My son said it looked like a bee tornado. Within a minute or so, the hundreds of bees turned into thousands, and a minute later they were all balled up on a tree limb, thirty feet off the ground. As someone who watches their hive entrances several times daily, I see the activity you are seeing all the time. I did not observe an unusual amount of this activity prior to the swarm. I never noticed any entrance activity that indicated my hive would swarm, but I do have limited experience.
 
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