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"Swarming Pine Cone"

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posted by alias Gary Helm on Saturday 25th of April 2015 10:41:37 AM

Swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees. In the prime swarm, about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen. This swarm can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees. Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, usually within a two- or three-week period depending on the locale, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the producing season. Secondary afterswarms may happen but are rare. Afterswarms are usually smaller and are accompanied by one or more virgin queens. Sometimes a beehive will swarm in succession until it is almost totally depleted of workers. Swarming creates a vulnerable time in the life of honey bees. Cast swarms are provisioned only with the nectar or honey they carry in their stomachs. A swarm will starve if it does not quickly find a home and more nectar stores. Honey bee swarms are not highly dangerous under most circumstances. Swarming honey bees feed prior to swarming, reducing their ability to sting. Further, bees away from the vicinity of their nest (offspring and food stores) are less defensive and are unlikely to sting unless provoked This is the smallest swarm I have ever seen. It was about the size of a Pine Cone and was on a small twig along the side of Joe Overstreet Road in Osceola County. Florida.



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  • Published 11.26.22
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