I just happened to drop in on my country hives today as a splinter colony was taking flight. (I’ve chosen to use the less alarmist terminology for that particular phenomena of honey bee behaviour.) I was alone, only had my cell phone and couldn’t film myself shaking the bees into a new hive body. So there’s not much to learn from this short video. But if you’ve never seen a sw — I mean a splinter colony up close before, take a look. (It’s not the highest-rez video. Sorry. Couldn’t help it.)

If it looks like a scary situation, it isn’t. Only bad neighbours make it a scary or stressful situation. It was more calming for me than anything. I had somewhere I had to be, so I couldn’t sit back enjoy it as much I would have liked to, but it was an amazing thing to witness.

Sept. 22/14: I was dealing with two swarms and didn’t know it. It was tricky because both swarms landed on the same branch. Both were re-hived, though, and the new colonies are doing well.

3 Responses to “A Gentle Ball of Bees”

  1. Jeff says:

    Nice swarm Phil. The other year with my “Splinter a Cell” was July 19th and I still got abox of honey. feed the snot out of them for 10 days (top hive feeder) and I think you. Could still score a box from them.

  2. Phillip says:

    I believe it, Jeff. I dropped by yesterday to give them a box of honey, pollen, drawn comb, empty frames — the works — and they were already building comb underneath the inner cover. I’m loading up a honey super today to give them something to work on.

    It makes perfect sense that they’d want to build comb after swarming. Their guts are full of honey and the first thing they’d do in nature after finding a new place to live is build comb.

    I plan to document the re-hived swarm’s progress. It should be fun.

  3. Phillip says:

    Note to self: Always bring a camera. Today I saw a queen emerge from a swarm cell (a swarm cell I happened to be holding in my hand) and I didn’t have a camera. Damn.

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