Beekeeping what is swarming?

The swarm is the natural breeding environment of a honey bee colony. In the swarming process, a single colony is divided into two or more distinct colonies. A swarm is one of nature's most dramatic and surprising spectacles that anyone, beekeeper or not, can witness. Swarming is a natural process through which honey bees reproduce and pass on genes to the next generation.

Although often considered counterproductive to the beekeeper, if honey is the target, it is in fact a sign that the colony is healthy and flourishing. Getting to the point where a swarm is needed is costly for bees, and weak colonies don't have the resources to launch swarms. Reigning the hive boils down to the beekeeper's management style. Some religiously return to queens every spring, while others wait for hives to return to queens.

In any case, the new queens have less tendency to swarm, as they are settling in the hive. When looking for a new location, the dividing part of the colony could disappear forever. Nobody knows exactly where the swarm will end. Apparently, a beekeeper loses 50% of his bees if he can't find the swarm again.

Some beekeepers fear that they will not collect any surplus honey. In addition, a colony that loses half of its population and honey production will struggle to recover its population and productivity and may struggle to overcome winter. Bees swarm for a couple of reasons, but the number one reason is that their living space is too crowded. Things rock in the hive, the queen lays eggs, the workers take care of the brood, honey is made, the honeycomb is removed and it is filled.

There's a lot of nectar and pollen for bees. The weather is pleasant and sunny without getting too hot. When a colony swarms, about 75% of worker bees, of all age groups, leave with the queen. They set up a temporary bivouac near the original hive and then moved to a new nesting site identified by scout bees.

While the desire of honey bees to multiply is natural, letting bees reach this point is not considered good practice because it poses a risk to the public, their bees, other beekeepers and the biosecurity of honey bees in your country. It's more interesting, it's much more satisfying, and it's much easier than many beekeepers think. An experienced beekeeper will learn the skills needed to prevent swarming, increasing ventilation and ensuring that the colony does not become congested. Usually, such hives can expand and “grow with the colony,” but beekeepers can not always anticipate the possible swarm moment and extend the space to avoid it.

These aren't fail-safe against a swarm, but they could help you with your beekeeping plans and management. This is particularly true for small wooden boxes, in which beekeepers domesticated their bees, called hives. Swarm control %26 Prevention is a very important part of beekeeping and there are many steps to learn, especially for a beginner. Some beekeepers, under the guise of “natural beekeeping”, allow their colonies to swarm simply because it is the natural thing bees do.

Swarming doesn't have to become a problem for the beekeeper and, ultimately, it's a sign of a very healthy colony. Howland Blackiston is the best-selling author of Beekeeping For Dummies and Building Beehives For Dummies, and a founding board member and former president of the Connecticut Backyard Beekeepers Association. If you're not a beekeeper who wants to catch the swarm, you should keep a natural distance and avoid threatening bees. Because workers will start raising a new queen when they think their queen is getting too old to lay eggs, many beekeepers reign their hives every year to help prevent a hive from swarming.

If a person is trying to “help bees through backyard beekeeping”, it is better to divide the colony and increase it to two hives. .

Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

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