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Swarming Honey Bees – Katy Texas

It is important to know that swarms are not dangerous and should be removed from your property. 911 Honey Bee Service advised that “They’re no longer staying.” “There’s nothing to panic about.”

Honey Bees Sweep Katy Tx

Swarming allows honey bee colonies to reproduce naturally. A single colony splits to form two or more colonies through swarming.

Swarming can be seen in spring. It is usually a two- or 3-week phenomenon depending on the site. But occasionally, swarms could occur throughout the season. Secondary afterswarms and cast swarms are possible. Cast swarms, which are smaller than the rest of the population, are usually accompanied by an adult queen. Sometimes, beehives can swarm in succession until they have exhausted all workers.

Apis cerana (a honey bee) is one species that participates. After being provided with information by scout bees, reproduction swarms from this species settle at 20-30m from the natal nest. They then move to a different nest site. Scout bees hunt for the best cavities to build the swarm’s nest. Successful scouts will report back to the bees where they found suitable nesting areas. Apis mellifera takes part in the same swarming.

Queen cups can be made by worker hives throughout the year. The queen lays eggs into queen cups when the bees are getting ready for swarm. New queens can be raised, and the hive might swarm as soon at the queen cells become capped. A queen who has a laying habit is too heavy and cumbersome to fly long distances. Workers will stop feeding her prior to the expected date of swarming and the queen may stop laying eggs. Swarming disrupts the original colony’s brood cycle. Scout bees are able to locate an area for the swarm of bees to cluster while they prepare for swarming. The honey bees fly quickly when they emerge from the hive. They may gather on a nearby branch or tree. They may gather around the queen to send 20-50 scouts in search of new nesting sites. This intermediate stop is not intended for permanent habitation. They will normally move to a new location within a few days. It is at this temporary site that the cluster will determine its final nest spot based on how excited they are by the dances of the Scout Bees. It is very rare that a swarm cluster lasts more than 3 days at an intermediate location.

Swarming is a risky time in honey bees’ lives. Swarms only have the nectar/honey they have in their stomachs. If the swarm does not quickly find a place to call home and replenish its nectar stores, it will starve. This is usually the case for early swarms. These swarms often leave on a warm spring day but are soon followed by rainy, cold weather. After producing one or several swarms of eggs, the rest of the colony will be well fed. Unfortunately, the new queen could be eaten by predators in her mating flight or she can get lost. Poor weather can also prevent her from mating. In this situation, the hive does not have any young brood left to raise more queens. It will die. A cast swarm usually contains a young, virgin queen.

Each honey bee type has a different tendency to swarm. Africanized bees have a tendency to swarm. Absconding is when the whole beehive splits instead of swarming. As tropical bees they are more likely to swarm (or abscond) when food is scarce. They can also become vulnerable in colder places. In winter, Africanized colonies of bees tend to die due to lack of adequate winter food.

A weak bee colony is unlikely to swarm until the colony has grown a larger number of bees. A low food supply or disease, as well as low production of eggs, can cause bee colonies to become weak.

A good honey bee nesting site must be large enough for their swarm to fit in (minimum 15 Liters, preferable 40 Liters). It should be well protected from all elements and have an entrance of approximately 12.5 cm sq. It must be able to receive warmth from the sun. Ants should not be allowed in. It is also recommended that nest sites with abandoned honeycombs be found if they can be found are chosen, in order to help the bees better conserve their resources.

The most experienced foragers of the resting-swarm cluster are the scout bees. When a scout returns from the cluster, she promotes the location she found. She uses the waggle move to indicate the direction, the distance, and the quality of the location to others in her cluster. She dances excitedly the more excited she becomes about her findings. If she can convince her fellow scouts about the location, she takes off, checks out the proposed site and decides to promote the site upon their return.

Different scouts may initially promote different sites. After hours and sometimes even days, the decision-making process will lead to a preferred location. It is important that a decision be made quickly because the swarm will only be able to survive for three days on the honey. This happens when approximately 80% or more of the scouts have agreed on one location. (If the swarm was to wait for less than 80 percent of the scouts, they would doubt the site’s suitability. If they waited to get more than 80% agreement from the Scouts, the swarm would have wasted its stored honey.

The whole swarm flies to the chosen location once the scouts bees agree. A swarm of bees may fly more than a kilometer to the spot, while the scouts direct the rest by flying over the area in the correct direction. This group decision-making is remarkable in identifying the best nest site for the bees and keeping them intact.

Swarm control is a method that beekeepers can use to reduce the number of active colonies. Most methods simulate swarming to extinguish their swarming drive.

Beekeepers can sometimes be called upon to catch swarms of honeybees that have been cast by feral honeybees. A honeybee swarm can be removed by most beekeepers for a minimal fee or free of cost if they are located nearby. A skilled beekeeper, or bee removal company, can often collect bee swarms alive and move them. The removal of a beeswarm is usually not necessary.

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