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So as is my habit, I go out to see what the girls are up to and as I get closer I notice a great hub-bub going on in front of the hive.
Methinks to myself ' Holy !*&$#!, summer dearth. Robbing! '
Throwing aside all caution I get within a couple of feet of the hive expecting to see a gargantuan struggle ensuing on the front porch. Pleasantly enough I realize all the activity is normal just a whole lot more of it and a boatload more bees involved. Ah-ha, orientation flight day. A new class has graduated.
After a few minutes of observing in awe I head back to the house to check the calendar where I marked the last time I observed this scene. Wowey-zowey right on schedule (give or take a day or so) 19 days since the last graduation of foragers. This morning the girls are out gathering but there is easily 3 or 4 times as many coming and going as there was a day or 2 ago. Way cool.
Now here's where rationalization comes in and the thinking gets muddy, but to me---------------------------------------------
This kind of punctuality of behavior makes a certain kind of sense when a hive is started with a package in a totally new hive with bare frames and foundation. While the comb is being built up and the stores are being built the Queen, while doing a bit of laying doesn't go into full production until construction reaches a certain level of comfort for the colony and it is at that point the cycle really begins and in my case become pretty obvious and predictable.
What ya think.
On an aside, it took almost a month for the girls to start using the upper entrance I installed with a medium super but now they are happily washboarding ( I call it sweeping ) the front of the hive around it.
All is well in their little piece of East Texas.
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