Swarmy bees – am I responsible?

What I wanted to do was post the video below onto my blog and then ask if this was normal but getting married delayed the uploading process. Now, I can tell you that this is what a hive looks like 30 minutes before it swarms.

I missed the actual swarm but my neighbours didn’t – they were lucky enough to get a full frontal. It flew into one garden. Landed on the branch of a tree and snapped it. Do I have to buy them a new tree? They reported the swarm was a metre high and half a metre wide. Being a novice beekeeper, I believe them.

It then went over their roof and into another neighbour’s garden and terrified the bejesus out of them. They hid in their garage. It was last seen flying off over another neighbour’s roof.

By the time I got back from my wedding it was game over. There were lots of bees looking for a new home in nooks and crannies in all the neighbours’ houses but I did not know where the swarm was. I just hoped they didn’t end up in a chimney pot, as I’m not quite ready for swarm catching at heights.

I felt really disappointed that my rubbishness at being a beekeeper had led to a swarm within 2 weeks of owning bees. It led to a few days of malaise which was probably comparable to the lows of my Port Vale FC supporting ex-housemate when they were thrashed by Stoke City.

But unlike The Valiants footballing prowess, it seemed all was not lost with my beekeeping. I could still see bees buzzing round the hive, and having read the books, I hoped that there were indeed some lazy leftover bees who had decided they couldn’t be bothered to swarm. Hopefully a new queen will emerge. I will look in a couple of weeks. I just hope there isn’t a second and third swarm and that I don’t annoy the neighbours too much.

Want to know more about bees, swarming and beekeeping, buy one of the books I recommend or please read some more of my swarming posts.

Author: Roger

regaining my sanity through beekeeping

3 thoughts on “Swarmy bees – am I responsible?”

  1. Mine swarmed recently too 🙁

    My only consolation is that swarming is good for the colony as it means a break in brood laying whilst the new virgin mates. This obviously reduces numbers of bees but it also reduces numbers of varroa mites, as they run out of brood cells to reproduce in.

    Hope your new queen starts laying soon, at least we finally have the right weather for bee love above. If you are worried about cast swarms it might be a good idea to check how many queen cells are in there and reduce them down to one or two nice big ones.

  2. I read somewhere that you are supposed to tell the bees when someone is getting married or else they swarm! 😉 Like Emily said, one of our hives has swarmed, but after talking to the beekeepers at our association who have kept bees for decades – it happens to all beekeepers at least once! I wonder who will emerge from the queen cells to rule your colony next?

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