Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,311 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was watching my 2 colonies today, a beautiful sunny day in the mid-seventies; one had regular traffic, while the other had many bees in the air and on the front of the hive. The question came into my mind "how old are the bees that are orienting?".

Phil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Orientation for bees is the onset of the last stage of colony tasks - that of a forager, the most dangerous job. They would be the equivalent of sixty (60) year olds getting their driver’s license for the first time, and they do remarkably well without formal driver’s education instruction. One source indicates they start foraging about twenty (20) days after first emerging, and summer average life-span is about thirty-five (35) days. You were observing old-timers, likely to die in the next couple of weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
This is from a study on orientation flights done by Capaldi using marked bees in 2000: "The number of orientation flights taken by bees before foraging was highly variable, ranging from one to 18 (mean 5.6 ± 0.29 flights). Equally variable was the age at which these flights began, ranging from three to 14 days (mean 6.2 ± 0.18 days). In this study the mean age at onset of pollen foraging was 14 ± 2 days."
His conclusions correlate with what I see in my observation hive which is usually they take an orientation flight at about a week old give or take a little.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top