Honey Bee Swarm

Honey Bees usually swarm in the spring. This is the honey bee's method of colony reproduction. A swarm typically occurs when a new queen bee is about to hatch. At this point the old queen bee leaves to start a new hive. The old queen leaves with about half or more of the hive's worker bees. This can contain anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands of bees.

The swarm gathers in a new location such as a tree, or a branch, or in the case pictured, the roof of my garage! From this location scouter bees are sent out to search for a new suitable nest location. As the scouts return they preform a dance to indicate the location they discovered. The excitement level of the dance preformed indicates the quality of the new location. Other scouts are encouraged to check the location and if it is satisfactory then they return and preform the dance. At first several scouts try to convince the swarm to move to different locations but over a few hours or days all scouts agree on a new nest.
Honey Bee Swarm

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