when bees swarm

Bees like to swarm. Usually bees swarm in what is know as the swarm season, which takes place between the months of May and July. During the swarm season, the Queen, providing she is ready, may decide to spread her wings and search for a new abode for herself and her thousands of workers. Despite the preconceptions one might have about a 'swarm of bees', a swarming colony is usually calm, collected and approachable. 

A new queen will soon be born

The workers in the colony begin to build large, protruding royal cells amongst the brood in order to raise a Queen.  These particular cells are tended dearly by the workers, who fill the cell with royal jelly, the essential ingredient needed to turn an ordinary egg into a Queen. 

At this stage, before the birth of the newborn Queen, the current Queen makes her swarming flight. Thousands of bees gather in a golden buzz of excitement and they whirl together into the sky. 

These bees whirled their way over to a nearby tree. Here they are, beautifully draped over a low hanging branch, protecting the Queen in the middle of the cluster, with scout bees heading off purposefully in search of a more permanent residence for the colony. 
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In the cool of dusk, we went to meet the bees. Using a basket and sheet, we calmly and quietly gathered the bees from their perch and brought them to a new hive, freshly prepared and ready for their arrival. We proceeded to lay out the sheet in front of the hive, enabling them to find for themselves the cosy wooden space that we had just built... Their new home! 

With no need for encouragement, the Royal Procession began. Thousands of bees, led by their Queen and her scouts, marched together into the hive. 

 

Spot the Queen?