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Author Topic: cleansing flights...  (Read 769 times)
patriotgirlie
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Location: Muskegon, MI


« on: February 24, 2013, 04:01:01 PM »

How far do bees go on their cleansing flights?  I just pulled in my driveway today and there was a little girl laying in the snow.  I immediately scooped her up and brought her in the house to warm up.  I couldn't believe how fast she bounced back.  Within minutes she was crawling around on my hand.  I took her back outside and after about another five minutes or so she took off, hopefully back to her hive...

My question is, how far do they normally go?  I'm assuming she was cleansing...and I saw the general direction she headed when she took off, but that doesn't mean a lot (I live in the middle of the woods) but if it is a wild colony, I'd love to find the tree they are in and keep an eye on them.

Any info anyone has would be much appreciated!

-Jamie (and her little worker that lived)
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rwurster
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2013, 04:14:27 PM »

Mine typically 'drop the bomb' within 10' of the hives from what I've seen in the snow.  Some go farther.  It's probably an illusion because its so close to the hives.  I see spots 100' feet out on the first warm day.
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Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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patriotgirlie
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2013, 04:22:22 PM »

Thanks!  I'm gonna go take a walk around the property...just to see what I can see...
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patriotgirlie
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2013, 05:19:56 PM »

I FOUND THEIR TREE!!! I am so pumped.  I found a TON of bees outside the tree barely alive.  It might be futile and stupid, but I'm going to help as many as I can!!!  I'll try to post pictures later =)
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Vance G
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2013, 06:09:09 PM »

Hanging white sheets outside on a clothes line usually brings on a massive cleansing flight on spring days.  At least that is what my mother said and my bees were a good sixty yards from her clotheslines.

  Wow, you have your very own bee tree!  Be sure to make a swarm trap and put it out and maybe you will collect a swarm.
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patriotgirlie
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2013, 07:33:29 PM »

I never thought about a swarm trap...that's a GREAT idea!!!  I'll look that up...any advice??
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Bush_84
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2013, 07:55:48 PM »

Since we are absolutely covered in snow I can tell you that cleansing flights occur very close to the hive.  I have seen dead bees on my roof, which is a good 60 yards from my hives.  There must be some scouting going on during the nicer days.
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Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.
patriotgirlie
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2013, 08:08:36 PM »





Here are some of the little beauties I found.  All of them were alive!
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Sundog
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Location: Florida Suncoast


« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 10:15:00 PM »

I may be too early for a swarm trap in Muskegon.  Perhaps you can find some ways to improve their shelter and give them support until it warms up.  Your enthusiasm is admirable.  Good luck and keep us posted.

Have fun!
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Bee Curious
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2013, 10:35:16 PM »

Did they like having you hold them in your warm hand? 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2013, 10:37:16 PM »

LOL.  Sundog, surely haven’t been in Florida THAT long have you. grin  You’re starting to sound like my relatives that moved from MI to Florida!  Winter always seems to go by quicker and warmer when viewed from Florida. Smiley  It’s Feb 25th up here, we won’t have any swarms until mid to late April. Sad

PG, most of my bees poop within about 10 feet of the hive.  The snow is yellow brown from the doodoo.  Some bees will fly off to never never land and die.  The winter bees don’t live forever.  

Not sure what to say about the ‘tons of bees outside the tree but barely alive’.  I don’t normally see that unless it is a little too warm inside the hive.  However that is probably not the case inside your tree.  This time of year, the living bees will toss out the dead bees that have accumulated over winter, but they shouldn’t be tossing out living bees.  Maybe most of the bees you see are dead bees being walked on by undertaker bees?  I don’t know.  
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patriotgirlie
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2013, 12:41:34 AM »

Did they like having you hold them in your warm hand? 

Did they ever...I couldn't believe how quickly they bounced back.  I know it's way too early for a swarm trap now, but I'll definitely give it a go in the spring!  Checked on the tree tonight...didn't see any new bees dead in the snow.  I think it was just colder outside than they originally thought when they left the hive.  I do plan on trying to help shelter them (we're supposed to get pummeled with rain and snow tomorrow) and I want them to have a fighting chance.

Thanks all for your advice and thoughts!

Jamie
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Joe D
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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2013, 01:06:54 AM »

On the cleansing flights, our bees down here get out of the hive I would say at least three to four day a week.  A lot of the time in winter they can still get out most days.  They don't have to hold it. ha  Good luck to you all.

Blue by the end of April or in May we should be extracting, do second extracting in July.




Joe
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2013, 05:15:21 AM »

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that if the bees get sick, the will fly or walk out of the hive and not go back. This protects the rest of the hive from getting sick.
My bees will carry the young bees that are sick or defective out over the pool and drop them in, for the same reason.
It is possible they just got chilled. I used to save them and put them on a hive until I saw that were being put in the pool on purpose. We also take them out of the pool and put them on the side. Almost every time, no mater which side of the pool we put them on, they would walk right back in.
Jim
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T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2013, 08:54:44 AM »

As the OP is from MI I have to agree w/ BlueBee.  If there's snow and cold, most don't go much further than 10', if they go farther they 'may' be sick and didn't plan on returning anyhow.

Heck, I've still got lots of snow covering my 8 hives and won't get my annual 2 packages until April 20!  

Bees don't even think about swarming up here until early June.  Smiley

My best advise to the OP; LEAVE them alone for at least another month.  That gives you plenty of time to prepare.
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