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pstafford 

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Everyday around 4pm, I get a small cluster of bees come outside for a look-see !



They are addictive to sit and watch :)
 

birchdale 

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Isn't this the time for their statutory 10 minute tea break? The smokers are the ones hanging around outside.
 

Drew 

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Mine have been doing that over the past few days (possibly they do it every day but I am not always able to be here to watch).....

There seems to be 1/2 hour/hour in the afternoon when it gets really busy..... lots of very purposeful bees darting off, lots coming home, lots apparently "just" milling around..... but on closer inspection they look to be just "queuing" to get in..... plus quite a few coming out and circling/spiraling (before presumably setting off to forage).....

It seems to only be for the 1/2-1hour - the rest of the day they just appear "busy" - fairly constant stream in and out without congestion.....
 

victor meldrew 

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Bees emerge from cells daily so possibly bees mature to foraging dutys daily and are therefore orienteering daily ?

John Wilkinson
 

pstafford 

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I still like the idea of them nipping out for a quick smoke in the afternoon before returning to work. I will tell friends that is what they do if asked ;-)
 

Drew 

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Bees emerge from cells daily so possibly bees mature to foraging dutys daily and are therefore orienteering daily ?

John Wilkinson
That makes sense (or at least I thought could be something like that - or at least I thought thats what the spiraling bees were upto) but why the mid afternoon timing?
"Safety" in numbers?
Good nectar flow for certain flowers (at this time of year)?
I think its nectar (very low percentage are laden with Pollen)

They know what they are upto I suppose - despite me!
 

Mike a 

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Wow spot that glide path down to the entrance. Its like the red arrows playing follow the leader as you can play dot to dot.
 

Peter Cox 

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Mine have been doing that over the past few days (possibly they do it every day but I am not always able to be here to watch).....

There seems to be 1/2 hour/hour in the afternoon when it gets really busy..... lots of very purposeful bees darting off, lots coming home, lots apparently "just" milling around..... but on closer inspection they look to be just "queuing" to get in..... plus quite a few coming out and circling/spiraling (before presumably setting off to forage).....

It seems to only be for the 1/2-1hour - the rest of the day they just appear "busy" - fairly constant stream in and out without congestion.....
New bees orientation flights
We had 6 days of rain and cold then yesterday was warm and a break in the rain, so many bees came out that the sides and roof were covered, after about 20 minutes all back to normal.
If you figure on queen possibly laying around 1000 eggs a day, 6 days cooped up will release around 5000 new bees when they finally can get out. The timing is interesting as it's roughly the same for all hives in this area between 2.30 and 3.30pm - that would make it about 8 hours after sunrise and 6 hours before sunset. I assume that your times there will correlate to rougly the same time differences between sunrise and sunset though I guess your daylight time is longer as you're much farther North than we are.
 
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margob99 

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Aha! The flight path is the clue! Someone, somewhere out there, is setting out a mid-afternoon treat for them, and - like good little girls - they're heading off for a snack to avoid the mid-afternoon "Sugar Drop" !
 

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