Almost Wordless Wednesday: Bee Swarm

(A swarm of wild honey bees flew overhead today as we cut the beech hedging.  I followed them up the drive where they landed on an apple tree to form a large tear-drop around the queen.  As swarming bees are not generally aggressive, I got very close with my standard lens: but I wouldn’t advise poking them with a stick).

Bee Swarm (5)

Coalescing on the queen bee

Bee Swarm (1)

A new bee colony

Bee Swarm (6)

From below

Bee Swarm (3)

Close up of honey bee workers

Bee Swarm (2)

A sisterly look

Bee Swarm (4)

And keeping an eye on me

27 thoughts on “Almost Wordless Wednesday: Bee Swarm

  1. Lovely photographs of the swarm. The bees certainly like the Priory garden. It is really late for bees to swarm. I don’t think it likely that they will be able to make it on their own through the winter if there are not many of them. It sounds as if you would be able to catch a swarm in the spring from the feral ones if you wanted your own hive at the Priory. Amelia

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    • Hullo Amelia. Taking the photos was like shooting fish in a barrel to be honest. They showed no interest in me – a few even landed on me but were perfectly docile. I’m still searching for hives or someone to site some in the garden and have had a few nibbles of interest. Fingers crossed. The increase in honey bee numbers this year has been very noticeable and now I know why. I suspect you’re right about this swarm being too small for survival. But I did see another swarm recently so presumably they have been doing so all summer. D

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    • Hi Christina, good question. We found out yesterday that there’s a wild bee colony at the Priory … but it was only the noise of the new swarm that alerted us. I had noticed loads more honey bees this year in the garden and now I know why. D

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    • Hi Sara, I’m not a beekeeper (though I’d like to have hives at the Priory). The swarm will fly on to a new home when scouts have found one. It’s late in the year for a swarm and this is a small one. I don’t think it would be viable for a hive. A saying goes – “A swarm in May is worth a load of hay; a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon; but a swarm in July is not worth a fly.” I don’t think a September swarm is worth much! D

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