Swarm Season! Honeybees on the lookout for new homes.

Swarm season has begun!   So keep an eye out on sunny days, typically between 10:00am and 3:00pm or so.   If you see a cluster of bees on a branch or structure, don’t worry they won’t hurt you.  But they do need to find a place to live.  We’re out of town the first weeks of June, so call someone from the swarm list at Puget Sound Beekeepers Association:  http://pugetsoundbees.org/swarm-list/  to come and collect the swarm.  Their list is organized by region.   We’ll be back in town June 19th and ready to collect swarms again.

What is a swarm?  The bee swarm is the way a honeybee colony reproduces itself.   When a colony is healthy and the spring increase is underway, often the old queen and about half of the bees leave the hive and set off to find a new home.   They first fly out of the hive with great speed, then jet around the air for 15 minutes or so before landing somewhere nearby in a tight cluster.   The queen is at the center of this cluster.  Scouts are sent out to search for a new home, and hopefully, within a day or two they find one.   Then the cluster breaks up and they all fly to the new home.   If a suitable home is not found in 3-4 days, the swarm could starve to death or die of exposure.

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