Swarm!

On this lovely April day bees have been on the move.  Swarming is how honey bees increase their numbers. When the colony is in tip-top condition, with a hive full of bees, brood and stores and a new queen developing, the old queen is sent out with some of the older bees to move to a new home. This process is kick-started when forage bees are turned away from the hive and their offerings of nectar refused. Somehow this stimulates a behaviour change and they become scout bees, looking for a suitable new home.  It is common for them to gather around the old queen (slimmed down to allow her to fly) on a nearby object before finally moving on. Today we had a swarm from one of our Warre (stacked top bar) hives in Alburgh. Thankfully they were right next to the hives on a small cherry tree. We gently scooped them into a small (nuc) box with top bars in situ and will let them get settled before transferring into a larger hive.

 

Alburgh swarm from Warre

 

Alburgh swarm from Warre 2

Scooping beesMore scooping beesWaiting for stragglers to enter the boxJust a few left...

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook