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Author Topic: curiosity question  (Read 1316 times)
JackM
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« on: July 16, 2013, 07:49:17 AM »

I was up watching a hive that has a virgin queen, hoping to see her orienting.  Well I got to wondering as I watched all the bees orienting.  I wondered what is the age of the bees that are orienting (not talking queens)?  Do the orient as soon as they hatch?  Do they orient after they have done the nursing stint?
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 09:26:21 AM »

I am not 100% sure, but I think they orient as they transition from 'house' bees (nurse, cleaning, wax building) to 'field' bees (foraging).  But again, I'm not 100% on this and would be interested if someone more knowledgable could confirm.

I just answered cuz I hate to see unanswered posts Smiley.

love,
ziffa
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 12:06:28 PM »

Roger that.
Jim
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JackM
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 06:55:26 PM »

Ya kinda a stupid but interesting, unimportant question.  But thanks.
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 07:26:01 PM »

I disagree. It isn't stupid, because it was asked. The only stupid question is the one that isn't asked.

It is also interesting and important. It would be good to know, especially when making splits or setting up mating boxes.
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Wolfer
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 09:25:35 PM »

I really dislike to post about something that I'm not sure about or that I have not personally done.
Since I doubt there is a definitive answer to this ill throw out my thoughts.
I feel most bees become field bees at about three weeks of age. However in the case of nucs started with a few nurse bees and some capped brood they will recruit field bees at a younger age than normal.
I could be all wrong here, I often am.

I just reread the OP. I think they orient just before they become field bees.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 10:48:11 PM »

Do they nurse bees leave to POOP? Seems so. So there would be some form of orientation right? They need to get back after pooping. Just maybe not the distance of a forager?
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JPinMO
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 10:58:36 PM »

Hmmm, after sc-bees' question, now I'm curious too....
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 11:02:59 PM »

Your question is at the heart of much very careful research.  It is a great question because it is core to the understanding of social insects-- how they use castes to perform complex and differing behaviors.  Bee practice "temporal polyethisim" -- a mouthful phrase to describe different jobs at different life stages-- as distinct from ant species which have castes that are fixed at birth.  

Researchers date the beginning of orientation flights to Day 5-7 after emergence (about halfway through the "house bee" phase).  Younger bees are not fully mature on emergence, and don't have the flight muscles for sustained flight, specifically special mitochondria to power the immense energy demands of the wings.  See: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0012160663900265   Bee have a "juvenile hormone" that changes in concentration over the adult lifespan and affects development of the phases.  See: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00300679

Researchers have taken "naive" bees (raised trapped in an observation hive) and studied the learning that occurs on the first flight-- down to the formation of brain synapses from a single flight.  See:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0006899382909775 

The foremost researcher of orientation flights is Elizabeth A. Capaldi --- she has published several papers -- one where they track the individual bee path with harmonic radar.  See: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v403/n6769/pdf/403537a0.pdf        What she learned is the bee track on a narrow sector in a particular flight, but make multiple learning flights to build a full mental map of the hive location.

  She reports that bees spend about the same time on each learning flight, but begin with very slow hovering flights, and at the end of the learning period fly very quickly for longer distances.  Her bee made their first orientation flight over various days -- ranging from day 4 to day 14  (mean was day 6.2 s.e. 0.29).  The number of learning flights ranged from 1 to 18 with a mean of 5.6 (s.e. 0.18).  The mean length of the flights was 331 seconds s.e. 59 . 
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 10:03:04 AM by JWChesnut » Logged
JWChesnut
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 11:18:24 PM »



Thought you might be interested in seeing the "harmonic radar" rig used to track the orientation flight bees.
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JackM
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 07:45:35 AM »

Cool, going back to read the documentation that you provided.  But at this point wanted to thank you for your detailed explanation and documentation.  Have a day! Smiley
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JackM
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 07:52:51 AM »

I also am interested in SC's question about relieving themselves at a young age, good follow up
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2013, 08:56:50 AM »

Wow! Chestnut, what a great post!  Thanks for the explicit information!

But I don't see how that poor little bee could fly with that huge antennae on it!    Undecided

love,
ziffa
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2013, 10:09:30 AM »

Ziffa, the paper's caption states that antenna rig weighs less than the average load of pollen.  Capaldi tested flight duration of bee with and without the antenna, and found no significant difference in time of flight.  Bees with antennas could forage.
The representative tracks -- showing evolution from the first hovering flight to a foragers beeline is illustrated in the paper.


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sc-bee
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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2013, 10:40:02 AM »

Dang, would hate to tote that thing around all day. How in the world did they figure out how to attach that thing huh
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John 3:16
JWChesnut
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« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2013, 10:49:29 AM »

For my job, I have been paid to climb mountains with the rig illustrated below.
Granted I get paid more than the forager bee, but still it's pretty much the same.

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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2013, 11:32:43 AM »

 goodpost
Learned a lot.
And you thought it was a stupid question!
Looking forward to the next "STUPID QUESTION".
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
phill
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« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2013, 01:08:57 PM »

I agree with sawdstmakr: an excellent question that drew excellent answers. thanks!
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JackM
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« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2013, 08:03:57 AM »

Well don't drop this yet, I have a hive that is now with virgin queen, but to get her I had to take a frame from another hive and that frame had capped brood.  Some of it hatched 2 days ago, and I am assuming the balance will be hatched today.  So I plan on counting days until I have orienting......
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Jackam
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« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2013, 11:56:17 PM »

Well don't drop this yet, I have a hive that is now with virgin queen, but to get her I had to take a frame from another hive and that frame had capped brood.  Some of it hatched 2 days ago, and I am assuming the balance will be hatched today.  So I plan on counting days until I have orienting......
I'm still not convinced that all the activity isn't house and nurse bees stretching their wings and voiding, along with the orienters. How will you know?
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