Getting used to the new digs

After spending the first night in their new home, there was plenty of action going on in the apiary the next day.

Coming and going

Coming and going

At first I was a little concerned with it, were they still agitated from the hiving, were they robbing, or something else? Then I remembered reading about this. My guess is that they were doing their orientation flights! Makes sense, since they were shipped in a small box from god-knows-where, and unceremoniously dumped into a strange hive on a cold day. It was the first sunny, warm afternoon and they needed to go exploring! What they do for these orientation flights is hover back and forth in front of the hive entrance, facing the hive, and during this time they get their bearings and memorize the location of their hive relative to the surrounding area.

Here’s what it looked like:

Interestingly, these orientation flights will occur each time a given cohort of new bees reach the age (~3 weeks) when they will leave the hive for the first time to take on the role of forager. I’m hopeful that the fact they are doing this means they like their new “digs”.
So for now, we will continue to observe from a distance, and in 3-4 more days will do our first hive inspection to confirm the queen was released and to top off the syrup feeder. Yay bees!



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