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Any bee experts here?

Roberto0151
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 18-05-2010

Any bee experts here?

In our garden there is an old oak tree with several big holes in the trunk.  Yesterday afternoon there was a big swarm of bees settling on one of the branches  and having read up something on bees in Wikipedia we thought it likely they might set up home in the hollow tree trunk, which would be useful for next year's apples etc.
By this morning they had all disappeared and , as a matter of interest, I'm wondering whether anyone might be able to explain what was going on.
3 REPLIES
RPMozley
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,066
Thanks: 21
Fixes: 3
Registered: 04-11-2011

Re: Any bee experts here?

I wouldn't say I was a bee expert but just to have an educated guess - I think you were probably right in thinking the hive was on the move to find a new home but I guess they felt your tree hollow wasn't quite right for them so they moved on.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,321
Thanks: 466
Fixes: 1
Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Any bee experts here?

Bees in a swarm act collectively. When they locate a possible hive space it is checked out for suitability - shelter, temperature, space. If it is not suitable some of the bees fly off to find another suitable site in the locality. When they find the new site the swarm goes there taking the queen along  with them.  Generally swarming happens when either the hive space becomes too small or the collective bees decide the old queen is not up to scratch. This technique is used by bee keepers when they want to split a "brood".
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Roberto0151
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 18-05-2010

Re: Any bee experts here?

Ah well, I guess I'll have to continue sending the mrs. round with an artists paint brush to fertilize the fruit trees  Grin