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Bee Wary – Swarm!

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Bee swarm videos are a great way to learn about swarming.

That’s because you can get comfortable with bee swarm activity. And you don’t have to be surrounded by bees.

So, while honeybees tend to be docile. And, really, they aren’t aggressive while swarming. Swarms can be overwhelming the first time. That’s because there are a lot of bees buzzing. And they sound like really loud static. Plus, the sky seems to move in speckled grey. So, watching a bee swarm video familiarizes you.

That way when you experience an in person swarm, you’re not afraid.

Honey Bee swarm

Beekeepers will tell you that you’ll know a swarm when you see one.

That’s because when there’s a swarm, a hive quickly goes from business-as-usual to a sky-darkening swirl of insanity.

In fact, if Dorothy and her house had dropped out of the sky when our first swarm happened, I wouldn’t have been terribly surprised.

But, I knew what was happening, so I grabbed my camera to capture these bee swarm videos.

These bee swarm videos take you step-by-step through the process:

Unfortunately, I missed the bees’ big departure from the hive. But, I did catch the “white noise” of the cloud of bees hovering above our patio.

Notice how it sounds like bad reception on a radio!

Once the cloud swarm began to travel away from our house…

I followed the bee swarm as they looked for a place to stop. They do this because they’re exhausted from the big exit. And they want to protect their queen. So, they find a resting spot. And they send out scouts to seek a final place to build their home.

In this bee swarm video, they explore a lilac in my neighbor’s garden. But, instead of staying there, they thenmoved on to a pear tree nearby…

This is my favorite capture!

To escape the busy buzzers,  I ducked into my greenhouse. And I pointed the camera upwards. So, it may seem like the bees are trying to attack me.

But, they aren’t.

Swarms have zero interest in attacking (no matter what hollywood’s bee swarm videos have tried to convey.)

Once the swarm selected our neighbor’s pear tree…

They gathered in a hanging ball. That’s because they build a “purse” around the queen. And that’s to protect the queen until they can build her a new permanent home.

How our beekeeper gathered the swarm:

Once all the bees had settled into one big ball, our beekeeper got out his special bee vacuum. That’s because his modified vacuum  is more gentle than a typical vacuum.

With it, he pulls the bees into a ventilated box where they are then ready for transport. With this collection, a beekeeper can set up a new home for this bee swarm.

More than just bee swarm video, a queen at work:

Another bee swarm video to learn from:

Later in summer, we experienced another honeybee swarm. And that’s a natural thing. In fact, swarms are a way that an overcrowded hive reduces crowding. Plus, it helps expand bee populations in a good way.

Want to learn more about gardening in harmony with pollinators?

If you’d like to learn more about gardening in harmony with nature, including for pollinators, be sure to sign up for our Gardening Academy (psst! you might just get a free pollinator handout just for checking it out.)

And if you’re into learning about other pollinators like hummingbirds, don’t miss out on our Growing a Hummingbird Habitat Garden program. (There won’t be more bee swarm videos, but you can check out a free hummingbird video preview right now!)

10 comments on “Bee Wary – Swarm!

  1. Jeanne on

    Is it common for bees to swarm at a certain time of year? That’s the second swarm in Ballard I’ve heard about this week. Inquiring minds want to know!

  2. rhaglund on

    Jeanne, I would imagine it isn’t uncommon. I know Corky has been gathering a few swarms lately. It would seem this would be the time for it to happen since the bees are very active when the flowers are poppin’ and the temps are warm (relatively, right?).

  3. Cath Saylor on

    Discovery channel will be calling for that footage-Excellent doc-u-drama!
    Sorry about the sting, but SO COOL to see the bees in action!

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