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I’ll start by saying that I have one colony, in the immediacy of my backyard, and as a result, I am able to keep a very close eye on hive activity, population, pest issues, etc. That being said, over the past two weeks or so, I have noticed that every day or two, between 4-6pm there are 10-25 bees doing concentric circles around the hive, with lots of activity at the entrance. This is different behavior from what I’ve witnessed in the past 2 months of having this colony. From what I understand, and correct me if I’m wrong, these are orientation flights: young bees getting ready to leave the hive for the first time and getting familiar with its surroundings.
Very cool to see!
A bit of additional information: I’m located in central florida (east coast) and we are in the beginning stages of a nectar flow of primarily golden rain tree and Brazilian pepper.
Are these orientation flights? Could I be having a population boom that’s accounting for all these orientation flights? Thoughts??

Thanks guys!
 

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There is usually orientation flight every day with a healthy colony. and good flying weather. With a healthy colony there is all stages of brood. Every day there are new bees emerging. The newly emerged bees don't fly but they free up bees to do orientation flights and become guard bees and then foragers. I am guessing bees start to fly a few days to a week after emerging. They need a few days to harden off and mature.

Obviously, there are no orientation flights on days where it is too cool, rainy or real windy. However, on the first flying day after the poor weather, there is a number of days of build up of the new flyers.
 

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I'm in a similar setup. I can see my hives from my porch and with binos I can see the bee activity pretty well. Around 3pm or so there's always a bunch of orientation flights. These hives are in the sun for most of the day and I'm thinking this must be around the time when the sun has warmed the hive enough that the new bees decide it's time to venture outside. It's like clockwork....warm sunny day, 3 pm, orientation flights.
 
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