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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This afternoon about 4pm my bees looked like they were getting ready to swarm. They were piling out of the box, walking up the front face of the box an taking off and hovering at the front of the hive. It made for an 8 to 10 foot ball of bees. Then after about 30 minutes, just as quick as they started, they settled back down and everyting was normal.

Why did they do this?

This is a package hive about 6 weeks and I put on the second deep last week. The weather hear has been rainy, cold and windy for the past week. Most of their collecting they have been dodging rain drops. This was the first day of good sun but only in the low 70s.

The only other thing different was; I removed the syrup about a week ago and added it back Saturday, and it was empty in 2 days. Consumer 1 gallon os syrup.
 

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must likely not a swarm - you are just the proud owner of new foraging bees - if you do the math

installed bees - day 1
queen released and started laying - day 7
eggs of workers hatched and grew as brood -day 28
workers cleaned house - fed new larva, made wax, learned dances and tastes of food sources - day 45 or so
then took first trip outside and did Orintation flights -

that covers the last 6weeks in a nut shell!!!

if it was a swarm -- they head out and never look back - they are moving - and have no intent of ever finding there way back home

hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree it was not a swarm and I have lots of new bees beeing 5 weeks to the day when the queen started laying. I can see all the new bees because the queen is Carniolian and she came on what looks to be italians. So the darker bees have really been showing up as of late. There has been increased activity all along but nothing like this. In fact it was so unusuall for these bees that my neighbor call to tell me there was something up with the bees and he dosn't know a lot about them but even he could tell there was something different.


This was more like they all had to get out of the hive at once thing. One minute they were all going at normal flight of 1 bee a second or so to literally coming out fo the enterence in mass.

I am not too wrried, just curious.
 

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I just started with bees this year and I have 3 hives in my front yard so I can sit on my porch and watch them. I have seen them go from very little entrance activity to a suddenly sea of bees flooding out of the hive. They just seem to be taking little orientation flights and hanging out on the outside. I suspect that there is something going on... maybe temperature or some other signal that they collectively decide it is time to head outside. After a bit they settle down.

I was a little freaked out at first but since I have seen it quite a few times I think it is normal. I don't think most beekeepers spend as much time as I do observing, due to the location. I don't recall reading about that in any of the books I read but the bees are otherwise doing very well.

Side note: I did give them slatted racks for cluster space and it has reduced the presence of bearding when it is hot and humid. I like my bees to have accessories, plus I don't want to scare the UPS man:)

Cheers!
 

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I agree with the others. Sounds like orientation flights. My father in law has two hives at his house and he calls me all the time in the afternoon to tell me the same thing. I keep telling him everything is fine but, he keeps calling.
 

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Yep, those are "happy flights" or orientation flights! The girls are graduating from house bees to forager bees! It's awesome... I sit, pretty much every evening and watch them!
Enjoy...nothing to worry about
 

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I don't know if there is a widely accepted term for it. I used to call it "day flights". It is normal especially in spring or when the weather restricts flight. It is as though they just want to get out of the "house" for a few minutes. It subsides after about 5 or so minutes. I can see that it would be worrisome for a new beek.
 
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