Orientation Flight

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These bees are hovering in front of their hive and facing it as they do. They are basically programming the home waypoint for their internal GPS in preparation for field duties. During their initial weeks of life, workers take on a succession of jobs inside the hive. At about three or four weeks, they transition into field bees that go out and about to collect nectar, pollen, water, and propolis for the colony. Drones must also leave the hive to search for a queen to mate with. Workers and drones learn where they live through these orientation flights. Hovering stands out from the typical and chaotic coming and going of the field bees; it's fun to catch it in progress.