Honeybee swarm


Aug 27, 2006
Central Kentucky
Took a few pictures of a swarm of honeybees. We found it yesterday, still there this morning so I got my camera.

We had called the local beekeepers (good honey) to see if they wanted it, but by the time they came over the bees had moved much higher in the trees and they couldn't reach them.

I'm going to bring my tripod over tomorrow morning. Hopefully they will still be there and I can get a better shot.

Nice shot!!

I never did understand how they would get formed like that. And I was always amazed watching my dad scoop them up and set them in a new hive. As long as you get the queen they will all follow.
Fascinating stuff really!
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  • #5
Thanks guys! :)

I've been googling:

"A honeybee cannot live alone but depends on the colony for survival. To propagate the species, a swarm (about half the colony and the queen) moves to a new home. The other half of the colony remains in the hive and raises a new queen. In southeastern Pennsylvania, most swarms emerge in April, May, and June. After exiting from their former home (hive), the swarm may settle on a tree branch, a bush, or the side of a building. The swarm normally forms a football-shaped cluster of bees that may be up to three feet long. The swarm sends out scout bees to look for a new home in a hollow tree or in the eaves of a building. When a suitable spot is found, the scout bees direct the swarm to it. The bees then construct a new honeycomb nest with wax they produce themselves, begin to gather nectar and pollen for food, and raise young."
Very nice Picture Che. Good to hear there are still some hives that are healthy enough to swarm.
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Very nice Picture Che. Good to hear there are still some hives that are healthy enough to swarm.

Thanks, Steve! :)

I agree....I've been seeing a few more lately...lets hope it's the beginning of a resurgence.

Here they are this morning way up in a different tree:


By the time I was done the 'scouts' were out flying around and I was no longer quite sure I was in the right place. :\:

I drove home....took one step out of the truck and the 'stick' I was about to step on/over moved. Closer look showed a four foot black snake. I think he was stuffed....he let me take his picture (I was only inches away from his face)....and when he did slither away, I followed and found bits of a nest through the blue spruce tree where I think he'd had breakfast.

If you look close, you can see the forked tongue flick-ing:

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Thanks again, guys! It's nice to be able to share them here. It's pretty cool to have occupations that allow us to see these kind of things in our everyday lives.

Some of us just a bit closer to the ground than others..... :P
new desktop for Gigi? HAHAHA! I damn near spit out my cranberry juice MB!

great pics Che :)
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  • #20
No more bees.

I went looking for them again. This time they swarmed in the lower branches of an osage orange 'bush' (the sprouting stump of a tree I cut down) right on the road to the barn, about three feet off the ground. I was going out to check for calves so I asked my MIL to call the bee people again....by the time I came back, they'd come and gone. They left this box, almost all the bees were already in there.

I'm going to contact them and ask them how they did that. I'm thinking they put some kind of attractant in that little trough thingee on the right side of the base board....but it's just a guess.


Che, I've never seen anything like that. How very cool !!!
Hey, side-bar : The first tree looked to be a Box Elder, the second a Hickory, and you mentioned Osage Orange...
I wonder if honey bees are attracted to certain types of trees ? I've heard they like hollows for nests ?
I wonder if honey bees are attracted to certain types of trees ? I've heard they like hollows for nests ?
It used to be common place when I was a teenager to find a hollow beech tree full of bees .

The damned things will colonize about any place where they can build a weather proof nesting area .Like the studding of a building for example .

Every so often even today on occasion the trimmers might run accross a bee tree,hopefully during the winter .Bees don't fly so good when it's cold out .

I think I've only cut one or two of them in my life time,always during winter and very small colonies .That was years ago .