Bees, Wasps, and Kin

Honey Bee Migration Honey Bee Migration
Apis millifera


When a hive is too large, the bees create new queens and swarm. In a rush of activity and noise, the old queen takes off with a large contingent of the hive, leaving the emerging young queen with the resources of the old hive; the established comb, the emerging brood and the returning field bees. The Swarm sets off in search of a new home.

The bees chose a large maple in Bryant and Barbara's back yard in Ohio where they rest while looking for a new home. The bees are shown in a cluster around the queen inside the red circle in the larger images. They wait in the shape of a beard of bees draped from the branches of the tree. Scouts are out, looking over possible hive sites.

Sometimes a swarm will decide to make their home right out in the open, but typically they move on to another site, better protected and more suited for a home. If a beekeeper wants to catch a swarm, this is a perfect moment... they have no home and are easily within reach. All that is needed is an attractive home...

Honey Bee Migration
Honey Bee Migration

They do not feel you are a threat to their hive because there is no hive to protect. Be carful, though, sometimes a swarm will actually begin to build a hive in a situation like this. If they have even the smallest wax comb begun it means they have decided that this is their hive and home... and they will protect it. This new colony of bees moved on after several days of resting, either to a new home or another resting place while searching.