Bee Swarm

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Blog entry by DocK16 posted 07-07-2009 01:24 AM 2070 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some of you know I am also a bee keeper in addition to woodworker and keep numerous hives around my shop. This past spring I had numerous swams where large amounts of bees leave the hive to start a new colony. I was able to record this phenomenon last month which is difficult as it lasts for only a few minutes till they disappear out of site unless they lite close by as in this case. I know this isn’t woodworking, I offer this video to those who have never witnessed this phenomenon of nature. Make sure your sound is turned up.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

15 comments so far

View jerryz's profile


164 posts in 3246 days

#1 posted 07-07-2009 01:38 AM

Amazing video, they don’t look like they were threathening to you. Were you wearing protective gear?
Where you able to grab/capture the new colonies?

Thanks for sharing.

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 3962 days

#2 posted 07-07-2009 01:38 AM

Wow! Very interesting, Dock. Are they honey bees?

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View DocK16's profile


1184 posts in 4055 days

#3 posted 07-07-2009 01:40 AM

Actually I grabbed the camera and stood in the middle of this in shorts and a T-shirt. They are normally not aggressive when swarming. It is kind of un-nerving when they fly around your face, but never got stung. This swarm landed a bush just a few yards from the shop and I was able to capture it in a new hive box.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3545 days

#4 posted 07-07-2009 01:50 AM

cool quit a buzz. great shot

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3790 days

#5 posted 07-07-2009 02:32 AM

You are right DocK, about this being a phenomenon. Last summer we had this swarm

land in a bush about 30 feet from the house. They were not aggressive at all and all they wanted to do was rest up for the next leg of their flight. They hung around for 3 or 4 days and then took flight and were gone from sight in less than a minute.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3271 days

#6 posted 07-07-2009 03:18 AM

funny this is posted, we actualy had a swarm in front of our house and they all gathered right on a large oak limb…i took pictures of them all gathered and arounf 10am the next morning they were all gone…i had never seen a swarm before and called a local bee keeper…he explained what they were doing and the whole process…was hoping they were staying as we started our garden this year, and i wanted lots of bees to pollenate…maybe they didnt go to far..but it was something you dont see very often and are lucky when you do…mother nature in motion….grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3656 days

#7 posted 07-07-2009 05:01 AM

That was great …thanks for sharing with us : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View woodworm's profile


14465 posts in 3558 days

#8 posted 07-07-2009 05:04 AM

If they stay long enough, you can harvest the honey for your bee pollen supply and also bee wax for your finishing work. Nice shot!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3690 days

#9 posted 07-07-2009 05:23 AM

Thanks for sharing. It’s an awesome phenomenon.

If I’m correct, isn’t a swarm the result of a duplicate queen bee being evicted after a territorial battle with a dominant queen? When she leaves the hive, her devoted worker bees follow her. A new uninhabited hive is what they’re in search of.

(Several queen bees are nurtured with Royal Jelly to insure the hive has a Queen to lay eggs and the first emerging queen bee then destroys all the other queen larvae, but if two queens emerge simutaneously, then they have to fight for the home hive.)

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Mely5862's profile


22 posts in 3250 days

#10 posted 07-07-2009 08:00 AM

So interesting! You sure have nerves of steel.

-- “Who wants an orange whip? Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips.” John Candy, Blues Brothers

View woodworm's profile


14465 posts in 3558 days

#11 posted 07-07-2009 11:08 AM

Interesting documentary on anatomy of the Hive by mmh.
It is true that honeybees lives, their activities, organization, infrastructure & communication system is so sophisticated and very puzzling.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3309 days

#12 posted 07-07-2009 11:49 AM

i came home from work about 2 weeks ago , and there was a pile of something moving in front of my 2 sliding glass doors , INSIDE !
i went to check it , and it was bees that had been trying to get out side !
there were hundreds of them .
and they were everywhere in the house ! in the windows .
i figured that there must have been some bees that hibernated inside from last winter , and were looking to get into the sun , so they could find their way .
well , i opened the doors , and spent the next 3 DAYS helping them with a fly swatter ,
not 1 single one even touched me !
for 3 days as i sat playing with LJ,s on the computer , all i could hear was the buzzing of more bees .
i never did find where they were in the house , and hope they don’t come back to see the queen again ,
since we are having a loss of bees , i wanted to help them all out ( literaly too ! ) .
about sunrise they would start , and go until sundown !
i still find some dead ones in the window sills , that just died from exaustion !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1519 posts in 4093 days

#13 posted 07-07-2009 05:03 PM

jerryz and Mely5862, I think it’s worth reiterating that honey bees are amazingly docile when they’re swarming (and in general are largely harmless when its sunny out unless you’re actively threatening their hive). Last year when visiting for a family reunion I was holding the ladder for my Dad while we were capturing a swarm on one of my sister’s rental properties. After shaking a swarm like Scott Bryan pictures into a cardboard box, the local (85 or so year old) bee keeping expert (called because we’d thought this was going to be a difficult extraction, but it turns out the tenants had sprayed all sorts of nasty crap into their hive so they swarmed on their own) sifted through the bees with his bare hands looking for the queen.

That hive survived the winter in its new digs out in the country at my parents place and is happily buzzing away.

DocK16, thanks for the reminder about why I want to have a hive here! We’re in a suburban setting, got about a four thousand square foot lot, but there are bees on our flowers and we’ve got a bunch of grass we should be able to tear up and replace with more flowers, and most houses in this area have fruit trees and other such landscaping. I’m hoping that by next year we’ll have gotten far enough down the project list that I can build a hive and start putting the call out for a swarm.

And most of our neighbors understand that more bees means more pollination which means more fruit!

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Occie gilliam's profile

Occie gilliam

505 posts in 3264 days

#14 posted 07-07-2009 05:53 PM

Grate capture, keep up the good work

-- OC down in Costa Rica. come down and see me some time. I'll keep the light on for you

View GregP's profile


154 posts in 2845 days

#15 posted 08-03-2010 09:28 PM

That’s amazing, I’ve never caught mine in the act of swarming, however mine aren’t near by. Very cool to watch.

-- Greg P, Washington State,

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