It’s swarm season! Mark and I (well really Mark …I was just along for the ride) hung swarm boxes around the farm last week.
Catching a swarm is like winning the bee lottery. It’s rare, and they move quickly and are unpredictable. This combination makes the capture of a swarm exciting.
Bees swarm for several reasons and usually in the spring. This is the time when they are rapidly increasing in numbers so if the hive isn't big enough and there's overcrowding, the bees will split off from the original hive. The queen will send scouts out to find a new home and then they all take off together.
They travel in a massive cluster and are loud. The queen is in the middle of the cluster. The thousands of bees keep her safe while they move quickly through the air, often stopping to rest on branches while making the move to their new home.
The swarm boxes entice the bees to move in. There are frames for brood and lots of room.
It’s such a cool process…and thrilling that is if you catch a swarm; not if you have your bees swarm and end up gone. We’ve been lucky enough to catch a few swarms each year.