Catching a Swarm
Today we visited our furthest apiary which is located in the foothills of the Preseli Mountains. The weather was beautifully sunny and its a joy to get out together and do some actual beekeeping following days inside potting honey. It was time to put clearer boards onto the hives in readiness for collecting honey tomorrow. The blossoms were slightly later to bloom in this location than our coastal sites and therefore is one of the last apiaries to have its Spring honey collected.
The first thing we notice on arrival is a cloud of flying bees and a swarm starting to settle in the tree not far from the hives. We decide to leave collecting the swarm until the end of the other beekeeping work in order for them to fully settle.
Swarming is a natural behaviour of healthy colonies of bees and is simply their method of reproduction. The complexity of all their different behaviour boils down to wanting to successfully pass on their genes, they can only do this by budding off a swarm or by raising drones who successfully mate with a virgin queen on her mating flight.