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Bee Behavior

1142 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  mharrell11
I think I saw the response to a similar question, but want to make sure I understand so I will explain mine. I picked up a NUC this past Friday early. When I returned home, I opened the entrance of the NUC and let the bees orient and adapt to the new home. Around 4:30pm, there was a massive number of bees circling about the hive and amassed at the entrance and on the sides. This went on for about 45 minutes and settled down and returned to normal. Yesterday, almost exactly the same thing occurred around 4:30 everything went crazy for about 45 minutes and then returned to normal. This morning I finally had the opportunity to move the frames from the NUC to my 8 frame hive. There were 3 frames built out 1 frame almost built out and the 5th frame barely started. Once completed the transfer, everything settled back into normal routine. Until about 4:30 pm again. But it looked much larger this time and took about 1 hour to settle in again. BTW, not sure if this is important, but the NUC is about 3-4 weeks old. Queen is from March 14.

My questions are:
1. Is this normal behavior?
2. Are other bees attempting to rob my hive?
3. Do I have an afternoon traffic jam at the entrance? I have a spacer bar installed and only have the small about 3/8" opening available to the bees to enter and exit.
4. Is there something else going on?


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Orientation flights. They are memorizing their new location.

They will preform this little ritual nearly every day at the same sun time.

Yep, orientation and cleansing flight happens same time each day, near or at the high temp of the day. With your reduced entrance, they get traffic jam trying to get back in all at once. It won't hurt them though so don't stress over it. Bees when they are ten days old go for their first orientation flight to learn the location of the hive, then go back in and don't start flying again for a couple more weeks when they will be old enough to be forager bees.
I opened the entrance up to the larger size in my spacer. About 4 inches. Decided that the temps here in Space Coast have been a little higher than normal and needed extra airflow. Seems to have quieted them down. Not the flurry of insanity that has occurred the previous 3 days with traffic jams at the entrance. Other them limited circling, the activity has been fairly normal with a gathering at the entrance.
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