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Author Topic: Orientation Flights  (Read 1208 times)
Carol
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« on: May 22, 2013, 05:18:32 PM »

Everyday around 3:30 pm, give or take a few minutes, they do an orientation flight. Yesterday it was huge. Had I not watched this behavior every day for weeks I would have thought they were swarming. Today it was not as hot and there were a few light sprinkles but activity at the entrance seemed a bit more normal. Not so many "washboarders". So maybe all the bees at the entrance the last few days were future foragers waiting their turn to head out....and today was the day.
I am fascinated by these little critters. The hive is about 60' from my screen room and every free minute is spent there watching the hive or sitting in the chair by the hive checking the colors of pollen. I need to get some flowers with blue pollen so I can see if it's "my" bees that are gathering pollen from the Spiderwort.
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Moots
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 05:31:41 PM »

They truly are fascinating to watch, aren't they?  Smiley

Trust me, once you witness them swarming the first time, you won't get it confused with an orientation flight, it's pretty distinct.
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 05:48:08 PM »

Most of my swarms have emerged eralier in the day than when you usually see orientation flights. But it is still awesome to see all the new bees come out and do an O Flight.
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PLAN-B
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2013, 05:54:03 PM »

I have one hive that started washboarding about three or four weeks ago and they havent stopped since... i think its pretty cool to watch also.  grin
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Carol
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 08:58:58 PM »

I was concerned about the washboarding because it was clogging up the entrance..but it is kind of neat...today the numbers were down but still washboarding. I've been reading "At The Hive Entrance" and trying to learn all I can. Would love not to have to open the brood nest once it is established, not more than absolutely necessary.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2013, 12:46:11 AM »

Trust me, once you witness them swarming the first time, you won't get it confused with an orientation flight, it's pretty distinct.
Moots is right  Wink
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Arkwood
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2013, 09:03:59 AM »

Yes, watching them is pretty cool. I noticed a few bees carrying the dead up, up and away from the hive. I originally heard they remove the dead but I thought they would just kick them out the front door and let them drop to the ground.

It's therapeutic just sitting out there watching them, I guess like a fish tank in a Dr. office.
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Carol
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 10:28:14 AM »

My TBH swarmed. It was installed in Mar same as this one....I didn't see them go but watched them find a spot in a tree...they spent a few hours there then moved...the next morning they moved again and remained there for another 3 days...thought we were going to lure them into another hive but no luck. They were up much higher than any ladder we had and in a heavily wooded area. Cutting the limb or tree wasn't an option since there was so much underbrush. So they are free. Hope they found a good home and will cast off a swarm in my direction someday.
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Moots
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 10:40:50 AM »

My TBH swarmed. It was installed in Mar same as this one....I didn't see them go but watched them find a spot in a tree...they spent a few hours there then moved...the next morning they moved again and remained there for another 3 days...thought we were going to lure them into another hive but no luck. They were up much higher than any ladder we had and in a heavily wooded area. Cutting the limb or tree wasn't an option since there was so much underbrush. So they are free. Hope they found a good home and will cast off a swarm in my direction someday.

Carol,
I know what you mean, I lost one earlier this year because they landed about 45 feet up in a tree.  At the time, it would have been more trouble and time than I had to dedicate to trying to recover them.  I had a couple of swarm traps out but they decided to go elsewhere.  Smiley

However, I've never tried it, but hear it works....if you have another high swarm, you may want to give it a shot.   Get a line over the limb they are on, as close to them as possible....throw, sling shot, bow and arrow, etc. etc.  Then pull up a frame of brood comb next to them, let it sit for 15, 20 minutes, or a half hour.  They say all the bees will move to it, slowly lower it down and hive it.
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2013, 10:59:14 AM »

Research "tanging" to get them to land lower.

Scott
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Carol
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2013, 02:26:44 PM »

Scott...did a search and found a video of someone "tanging" a swarm. Interesting. The trees out there are no where near as tall as ours  but you can bet I will be out there "tanging" away if I see another swarm. Thanks
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