What is Swarming?

We can look at swarming of honey bees this way: rather than seeing each solitary bee as an organism, the colony itself is the organism, or superorganism. When honey bees swarm, it’s the colonies method of reproduction i.e. one colony becomes two. This process can then be replicated, reproducing the colony over and over again.

What is swarming exactly?

Put simply, swarming is where an old queen and retinue of workers leaves the original hive in order to found a new colony. As many as 60% of bees can leave the colony during a swarm, and whilst a natural phenomenon in terms of beekeeping the results can be disastrous, i.e. failure of the original colony and cessation of honey production.

There are lots of reasons why bees may swarm. As queens get older they produce less pheromone, which diminishes colony adhesion.  You can help to prevent swarming by introducing a younger queen, i.e. re-queenng.

A hive may simply become overpopulated. Bees are very good at maintaining a healthy number inside the colony but sometimes there may be simply too many bees. There should be hardly any drones, so an abundance of drones may be a sign of a problem.

Poorly ventilated hives can lead to overheating. Bees use heat in all sorts of different ways, but two much heat can be problematic. Ensure your hive is well ventilated, otherwise bees might become overheated and swarm. For more information and bee supplies you can look online.