Our PSCS Honey bees swarmed! A honey bee colony functions much like a living organism. Just as individual bees reproduce, the colony must reproduce, too. Swarming is the reproduction of a honey bee colony, and it occurs when an existing colony subdivides into two colonies.
When the colony gets too crowded, the workers will start making preparations to swarm. Worker bees tending to the current queen will feed her less, so she loses some body weight and is able to fly. Workers will also start raising a new queen. When the young queen is ready, the swarm begins.
At least half of the colony's bees will quickly leave the hive with the old queen. The queen will land on a structure or tree and workers will immediately surround her, waiting for scout bees to find a new place to live. When the scout bees have chosen a new home the swarm will fly off again to their new home.
Swarms look scary, but are not dangerous at all! Bees that are swarming have left their hive, and don't have brood to protect or food stores to defend. Swarming bees are docile, and can usually be observed safely. If you are lucky enough to see a swarm contact a local beekeeper so they can catch it and provide a safe home for these important pollinators. Mr. Chris is always excited to collect or help find a new home for a swarm!
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