Honey Bees swarm as means of reproducing hives in nature. They swarm when following conditions are met:
- A healthy, rapidly growing colony
- Limited usable space to continue expansion
- Abundant nectar sources, such as the one Spring time typically offers
The act of swarming, Colony planning and preparation leading up to it is both intriguing and extensive. Dr. Thomas (Tom) Seeley did extensive research and authored literature with insights into Honey Bee swarming.
Contrary to the 1978 horror movie “The Swarm”, and commonly misused context of “swarm”, swarming Honey Bees are most gentle during reproductive swarming.
In preparation for long flight and risks a head of finding new home, they have gorged themselves with nectar. They have only ONE goal during swarming, that is to find their new home as soon as possible and start preparing, building hive, collect nectar, pollen and enable Queen Bee to start laying next generation of bees.
If you witness a real swarm of Honey Bees, do not disturb it, do not swat them. Remain calm, enjoy the organized chaos of Nature and call a BeeKeeping Association or a BeeKeeper to come collect the swarm.
And please, consider NOT spaying the swarm or Honey Bee hives with any chemicals or pesticides.
Here is a picture of a Honey Bee Swarm that is about to setup home on the side of a historical building in Ridgewood, NJ. I collected and re-homed the swarm and they are doing well.