Saturday, May 28, 2011
When a honey bee hive gets large enough, the queen will leave the hive and draw thousands of worker bees with her. This is how they expand populations. They end up as a "ball of bees" hanging in some tree or building and causing alarm and excitement for a day or so until they find a more suitable cavity for their new hive. Being a bee keeper's helper. I just assisted my wife in gathering this swarm. In the video, you can see perhaps as many as 20,000 worker bees (all non-reproducing females) concentrating around a queen bee in a cedar tree. Later in the evening, I cut down that tree,which was an intention anyway, and we were able to shake the ball of bees into a hive body. The old hive will develop a new queen and new drones and worker bees and this new hive will hopefully be a strong one as well and we'll have lots of honey this fall!