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What is swarming? What is a swarm? (actually ask this)

Honeybee’s natural method of reproduction on colony level
Specific to the species
Perhaps 2/3 of the mother colony population leave to establish a new daughter colony in a different location

Happens during swarm season – early spring late Sept – late Oct
Happening now!

Mother bee usually leaves with the swarm as perhaps just before Mother-to-bee emerges from queen cell

Primary largest swarm leaves with existing mother, then perhaps up to three more swarms usually decreasing in size as new queens hatch and leave with the next

Vary a great deal in size from a thousand bees (small possum sized) weighing a few hundred grams up to thirty thousand or more as (size of a small dog) weighing three + kilograms

Spew out of mother colony
Form a cloud
Usually settle close by
Form a cluster often hanging from a branch
Scout bees sent out to look for enclosed spaces to inhabit

This is one of the most amazing things about bees I think
The scouts go and find cavities and come back and tell the others
with a dance a bee can describe to other bees where a hole in a tree up to three kilometers away well enough so that others can find it
could you do that? 🙂
but thats not the amazing bit
the scout bee persuades others to go and look and if they like it they’ll come back and do the same dance
but others are doing different dances to describe different holes

Can sit in cluster for hours or days – mostly depends on weather
Cold weather sit tight
Warm weather go go go

Gentle – no honey or brood to protect (bees only ever defensive)