[LEPS-L:7900] Re: An encounter with honeybees

Dave Green pollinator at aol.comnospam
Thu Nov 16 22:01:40 EST 2000

>We were finally rid of the bee menace, but not those strange thoughts
>which continue to stay in our mind.
>Can somebody throw light on this strange (at least to me!) phenomenon?

   There is hardly anything strange or  menacing to this. This is the natural
way for honeybees to reproduce, if you consider the colony of bees to be an
organism, and each bee just a cell in the organism.  They had become crowded in
their original home, and the colony had split, with about half going out to
find their way to a new home. Generally the old queen goes with the swarm.

   When they have flown as far as the queen can fly, they pitch wherever she
lands. The colony will often hang from a limb or other structure, and the bees
do support one another. That's not so farfetched as it seems, as there are
hundreds of linkages between the bees' legs.  BTW, there are not "millions" of
bees, perhaps ten or twenty thousand.

    The colony after pitching will usually send out scouts to find an
appropriate cavity to move into. This may be a hollow tree, a section of wall
without insulation, a soffit (overhang of a roof), a chimney, etc.

   The queen is now rested, and when the scouts agree on the best home, the
whole colony flies on to the new site. This may happen in a few hours or a few

   It would have been tragic if you had poisoned these valuable pollinators.
One colony of bees can pollinate several thousand dollars worth of food. And,
when they swarm, they are intent on reproduction and will ignore other
activity, in other words they are very gentle.

Pollinator at aol.com     Dave Green  Hemingway, SC  USA
The Pollination Home Page:  http://pollinator.com
Disclaimer:  Opinions aren't facts; learn the art of discrimination. Opinions
presented for your use and amusement; use at your own risk.         


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