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We installed our two nucs up at our remote mountain site in West Virginia on May 7. For the first hours the bees seemed preoccupied with orientation flights, primarily coming out to look at their new abodes, each marked with a distinctive colored symbol. For bees used to living in a nuc yard in one of hundreds of identical white cardboard boxes, the symbols seemed fascinating. When we left them on the 7th they had not yet figured out the top feeders, and only one bee had been seen foraging a dandelion. We've not peeked inside yet, but expect the three frames of empty drawn comb per hive were a treat as well.

This past weekend we found them heading west into a nearby ravine and returning with baskets full of pollen. They had figured out the feeders and had gone thru about a gallon of syrup each. The following day they seemed to be foraging in all directions.

Yesterday, leaving the property, we noticed a number of Autumn Olive plants in full bloom, being heavily worked over by honeybees. This is a mile and a half east from our hives, well within foraging range, but with all the forage closer in, I would be surprised if our bees had made it that far so fast. Yet we don't recall seeing significant numbers of honeybees in this particular valley before. Possibly there are some hives we don't know about, but we know this particular little valley pretty well and have not seen any others closer than about 10 miles.

How fast do honeybees explore their full range?
 
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