|QWhy do bees swarm ?
|AWell, in simple terms, bees use
swarming to propagate their species. When half the colony leaves the hive to find a
new home, the colony is in effect divided into 2 new colonies, each with its own
queen. The old queen will fly away with the swarm, and the new queen will be left
behind in the existing colony.
|QWhen do bees swarm ?
in the Spring and early Summer, although swarms can occur right up into Autumn.
|QWhy do you say that swarms are
unlikely to attack and sting people ?
the swarm leaves their original home, they gorge themselves on honey, as they will need
all the food reserves they can carry to survive whilst they build a new home. This
makes them very docile. Also, bees will generally only sting people to defend
their home. Since a swarm has no home, they have no reason to act defensively.
|QHow long will a swarm stay out of
a hive ?
a swarm leaves the colony, it will settle on a tree, bush or building whilst it sends out
"scout" bees to find a new home. If a new home is not found
quickly, the swarm may stay for several days, or move on to a new location to search
|QHow does a beekeeper collect a
|ABy providing the
bees which what they perceive as a suitable home. This can be anything from a
carboard box, a proper hive, or a straw basket (called a skep which is particularly
attractive to honey bees). He may also "bait" the container with
honey, beeswax, or frames which have been part of another colony. He will then
shake, drop or coax the bees into the container, which, being dark, will attract the queen
inside. Once the queen has settled inside, all the other bees will gradually
return to her. Normally, the beekeeper will leave the container slightly open,
to allow all the bees to cluster inside, and then, after dusk, when the bees have stopped
flying, he will wrap the container in a sheet and take them off to their new home.