House Hunters

The honeybees are out with their measuring tapes house hunting and measuring up bait boxes, hollow trees, whisky barrels and heaven knows where else.

Bees approach to house hunting:

  1. Circa 9.00am first honeybee arrives.
  2. She flies in, out with her measuring tape and sizes it up.
  3. Walks out of the entrance and along or around the entrance.
  4. Hops off and flies a short distance away.
  5. Lands back on the entrance.
  6. Walks in.
  7. Double checks the dimensions of the inside of the hollow/box.
  8. Walks back out.
  9. Flies around in front.
  10. Files around the back.
  11. Files in increasing circles near the hive
  12. Repeats steps 2-11 a few times.
  13. Files off.
  14. Waggle dances to tell her sisters where it is.

All is quiet around the box/tree/hollow for a short while, then 5 bees arrive and do the same sussing out of their potential new home, then 30 and by noon there’s a hundred curious bees (not that I could count them with all the circular flying about and in and out).

This is when I get hopeful.

Will a swarm arrive today?

Hopefully it will NOT be a swarm from one of my own hives.  Catching a swarm in a bait box or one dangling on a tree is always exciting.  The downside is that the swarm is likely to come from a fellow beekeeper’s hive.  I feel no guilt for catching them as try as I might to take evasive action and prevent hives from swarming, I get caught out too. 

Bees swarmed into my pink bait hive – Yippee!

Loosing a good queen and 75% of the bees in a hive by swarming is deflating but I hope they find a nice new home with a caring beekeeper and do not have to fend for themselves in the wild. The chances of honeybees surviving overwinter in the wild is not great, but it does happen.

Bees are a barrel of laughs. I’ll have fun removing these.

Some of my blog posts about swarms and bait boxes


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