Saturday, May 28, 2011

Swarming Bees

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!

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