Honey bee behavior… looking for a new home.

Swarming is the honey bee’s method of colony reproduction. Recently, we noticed a very large swarm of honey bees in the farmyard.  The old honey bee queen and about 2/3 of the worker bees had left their former hive in the pasture at the farm, to seek a new home. To start the process, certain worker bees, called “scouts, canvassed the farmyard, for a potential new nesting site.  The queen was part of the swarm, but was not the leader of the swarm. The bees chose a corn planter about 75 yards from the original hive. The bees formed this large, humming cluster, which looked like a massive, fuzzy glob.

We notified Ted, the beekeeper, and using a pheromone, he helped to guide the bees into their new hive.  If the bees hadn’t found a new nesting location, they would have begun to form combs on the chosen corn planter.  These combs would have been exposed, to the weather, as well as hungry birds which frequently put an end to the colonies and combs.  Thanks Ted for rescuing the bees!

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