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Bee Swarms
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Swarm way up in tree



Patience is a virtue catch it if you can, seldom found in a woman and never in a man. My mother must of said this to me 10,000 times growing up and overall I have great patience but sometimes I get ahead of myself like with the 40' swarm.

Swarm caught using a pole & bucket


If you capture many swarms you will learn a few things are always true: 1. sometimes the swarms leave before you get there; 2. they are not always going to be honeybees; 3. and sometimes the swarm is just to high in they tree to reach easily. Its the facts of chasing bees, not all of them want to cooperate or land in a easy spot for us to capture. We have seen swarms on all kinds of things: cooling ducts, fences, trees, light fixtures, the ground and even cars. These wonderful insects dont always cooperate but here is a simple trick to get the ones up high.

Honey bee swarm on the ground

digital camera

The home owner had closed off the area with stakes and plastic ribbon. The air was filled with a lot of honeybees and we were concerned they were getting ready to leave. Apparently this swarm was here for 2 days before we finally got the call late on the 3rd day (two of those nights were in the cold low to mid 40's). The home owner explained to us that it started out on the side of the tree, then moved to a limb and finally flat on the ground in the grass.

Nicotine Bee Swarm

digital camera   movie


We went on a swarm call the other day to a house in east Springfield, MO. The caller has a bee tree in their yard with a nice colony of bees about 20' off the ground. Well its swarm season and apparently these guys want a little nicotine in there diet lol. The swarm was hanging under a metal patio table and connected to an ash tray full of cigarettes. Yeah first thought was ewww and second thought  "Free Bees!",  lol.

Queen Killing Swarm

Quick post on an unusual swarm. On a swarm call the other day, on arrival I noticed a dead queen on the cross bar of the fence and thought "uh oh what's going on here". Then I realized it was a secondary swarm with several virgins in it. Pretty large for a secondary swarm. Found at least one other virgin in the swarm as I hived it. First time I've actually seen virgins killing each other in a swarm. Not the first time I've seen multiple virgins in a swarm though.

Tree with honeybee swarm

Do you have a ball of bees hanging in your tree?

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 three to five week period depending on the locale, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the producing season.