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Swarming Bees!

Wednesday, May 14th 2014

The honey bees from the observation hide in the Field Centre swarmed this morning as Richmond C of E Primary School were visiting the reserve! This made very interesting viewing for the young children as the beekeepers captured the swarm. Swarming is the natural means of reproduction of honey bee colonies, where about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen.

The bees have been very active over the past ten days, with numbers multiplying rapidly. Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, most commonly happening on a warm sunny day. Below you can see the swarm massing on the landing pad on the wall of the FIeld Centre.

They flew only a short distance to rest on a branch in the garden. From here scouts are sent out flying up to 1km to find suitable locations for a new colony to nest.

The beekeepers quickly came in to capture the swarm. The branch on which the swarm was resting was cut and the the whole swarm simply dropped into a skepp.

This will provide a temporary home for the new colony until a hive can be set up for them.

We must say thank you to our beekeepers who quickly came in to capture the swarm, and show the children (from a distance) what they were doing. Thanks also to Linda for all of the fantastic pictures she took.


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