Saturday, 22 June 2013

Catching the Swarm

From Trevor Potts:

I recently tried to get a swarm of bees to go into a new hive. I shook them off a branch into a cardboard box, then turned the box over onto a white sheet and folded the sheet around the box.  After carrying them to the hive, I placed the sheet and box onto a sloping board up to the hive entrance. Bees always go uphill toward the entrance. The bees were by now clustered and hanging onto the inside of the box.

I carefully unfolded the sheet and spread it out on the runway, lifted the box and gave it a sharp tap: all the bees dropped onto the sheet spread on the board. The first few bees crawled into the hive. If the bees like what they see, they fan their wings to spread their pheromones and all the others, including the queen, then crawl up into the box. You can see in the photos the bees clustered round the entrance fanning away to attract the others.

Many thanks to Trevor Potts for story and pictures.
Trevor runs the Ardnamurchan Campsite.

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