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Discussion Starter #1
Had an interesting observation today.

I have a beeyard that has 4 hives side by side in a row separated by two feet between each hive.

I put up a fifth hive (never been used) with foundation with no bees, right beside the fourth hive at the end of the row, and I swear that the bees returning to the fourth hive were confused and were entering my fifth hive, which was two feet away from the fourth hive.

This told me that the bees really had determined that when they left the fourth hive, it was at the end and when they came back they immediately went to the hive on the end, even though it wasn't their home.

Obviously, the bees that entered the fifth hive left very quickly in order to find their real home. I need to say that it wasn't a few bees, but alot of them (hundreds).

Anybody else ever notice this?
 

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Yep, and makes sense. They were oriented by being the hive on the end. You added a hive on the end, so confused them. They'll be back to normal in a couple days. The new hive on the end will gain some population.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Interesting, I will need to try standing like that on my next visit to my beeyard.

I wonder if the bees in the third hive get confused also.
 

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Do people use colors or easily distinguishable symbols to help the bees find back to their hive instead of drifting into another?
 

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Adding boxes at the end gets the bees messed up. It's neat to watch it happen though. After a while, they get it straight but I'm sure a number of them end up in the wrong hive. Sometimes I use colors or symbols but it's a lot of trouble keeping it straight when you're swapping out boxes.
 

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Bees recognized open geometric shapes more than colors in research. Bees see a different spectrum without red and add ultraviolet. Flowers have nectar guides of ultraviolet for insects. So try squares, triangles, circles, etc.
 
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