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Sat down late this afternoon to watch the bees, and I noticed that as the minutes passed, there were more, and more, and MORE of them hovering around the hive. The usual ten or twenty turned into fifty, than a hundred, and then finally enough to scoot my out of my chair!

My first thought was that the hive was being robbed. :eek: All kinds of bees were hovering around, all facing the hive. I was positive it wasn't a swarm, since I just checked the hive yesterday and saw no queen cells, but I didn't have much else of a clue what was going on. As I got to watching though, I didn't notice any fighting at the entrance; just a lot of congestion. I finally decided it was an orientation flight and hoped for the best. After I got over freaking out, it was awesome to watch. After about a half hour, everybody was back in the hive, and I was back to the normal amount of bees at the entrance.

As a beek for all of three weeks, this was pretty cool!
 

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Yes, it is pretty cool. When I first started watching my orientation flights, I got rather nervous because I'd had some swarms previously. But I've learned that orientation flights take place in mid-afternoon, while swarms will emerge mid morning. So now I thoroughly enjoy my newly promoted foragers! :applause:
 

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We just setout two Nuc's on staurday evening, and went back to take a look if the queen had got out yet. We found that both Nuc's still had the queen in her trap, but most of the nurse bees had left eacvh trap. Fearing that it might take another day or two we carefully released her in to the hive, placed a top feeder on and closed both hives up. This was bout 4:00pm

It sure did get the bees attention with the queen released, and activity at both hives increased. Decided to walk across the fields to see what they might be feeding on, and came back about half an hour later. WOW, the yellow hive was a buzz, bees everywhere, hovering around the hive, and darting out around and back again. The flight pattern did not make much sense. Watched them for ten minutes and went down to the house. About 6:30pm just walked back to take a look and everyone was inside except for a few still coming and going, with a few bees on the porch.

I think I saw an orientaation flight. The white hive is still a little slow, maybe they will get to it tomorrow.

Bryn
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So is this something that you see in a hive every so often? Such as, does each group of new foragers get together and make an orientation flight together?

This did happen in the evening, and it was a hot, humid day. Next time, I hope I can enjoy it more and not be so surprised.
 

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It pretty much happens every day at about the same time when eggs are being layed and you have nice weather. A new group of bees need to figure out were in the world they live. Sometimes all of my hives are doing it at the same time and sometimes they happen over a couple of hours.
 

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I've seen this many times myself and it always catches me a little off guard.
Seeing hundreds of bees in the air just swirling around the front of the hive is a sight to behold.

My bees just buzz and buzz by the hundreds, making a loud racket. Then after about 30-40 minutes they drift back into the hive and it all settles down again. At the end, it looks so different that I even begin to wonder if I actually saw what I saw.
 

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We call it "Happy Hour" at our house. It happens between 4:45 to 5:45.

I love to go out there and watch them. I stand about 7 ft away and hope that maybe, these girls are getting used to me being around too! :D
 

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I had the same experience with a five frame nuc purchased in mid May. Yesterday the temp was near 100 in NW NC. I have two hives in the corner of my yard. One looked like it was just boiling with bees -- all within about five feet of the hive. The other looked normal (actually, they were both "normal"). I had seen this about a month ago with the same hive -- that's when I was concerned, not knowing what it meant. In both cases, the new activity went on for about half an hour and then settled down. Yesterday evening both hives were heavily bearded. This morning, I noticed that both hives are finding some pollen.
 

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i had quite an episode of this last sunday while mowing the yard. made my first pass and everything was normal. on the second lap HOLY SMOKES :eek: it was happening just that fast.
i went and finished up the back half of the yard, moved around to the front and by the time i was finished everyone had stretched their wings and then went in to take a nap so it was all over :D
still all in all it's a great sign for the hive

beebiker
 

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I had something like that with my bee's this morning around 10:eek:clock. I had just stopped and and looked at my two hives they were coming and going like they always do then was working in the garden ten minutes later heard a roar of bee's and saw probably like 300 bee's flying in circles about the diameter of 30 ft but moving away from the hive. I watched as they did that going away about 100 yards then I couldn't see them again. I went back to the hives and every thing seemed normal. I've seen swarms before with a huge ball but these were spread out so much. I have two hives from packages one being stronger then the other. One has two hive bodies almost full with a medium super on foundation but no combs starting yet. The other has two hive bodies the lower one full and the top one with 4 frames of brood and honey the other frames are not drawed out yet so I didn't super it.
I think they were my bee's no one around me has bee's. Could that be a small swarm?
 
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