in Amazing Nature2 months ago


There is something extremely tranquil about standing in the middle of a swarming beehive. It is almost like stepping outside of time and watching time frames flash around you like a series of snapshots which suddenly fit together in a spectacular picture. In all reality, only a beekeeper would identify with that statement! I'm sure that I would not have been the only one standing excitedly, camera in hand, in the middle of the huge swarming bee colony who just returned to take up residence on our homestead.....happy little bee dance!!!


Bees swarm for two reasons. Firstly their survival depends on abandoning their previous home. Any number of things could chase bees away from their hive. Ants. Excessive noise or movement. Hunger. Bee eaters. Humans. The second reason bees move is always a special one. When a colony gets really big and strong it forms a second queen and then the bee colony splits. One Queen Bee moves on with her new colony and the other Queen Bee remains behind.


It is sad to me that while people don't understand bees and will easily kill one if they feel threatened by the sting - our survival depends on these incredible little pollinators. In the many years of the drought we barely saw bees. In the early drought years we lost all of our bee hives. Apart from the healing and sweetening properties of honey the hard working bee colonies are largely responsible for the cross pollination and therefor growth of foods that keep humans alive.


A bee hive in search of a new home is called a swarming hive and their twofold purpose in swarming means they are almost harmless. I say almost because they will still sting if threatened. Because they need to protect their little queen and find a new home a calm spectator does not raise the bee alarm while they are swarming. But don't expect to be able to bother a colony once work resumes as usual.


Here in SA our bee is known as the African Killer Bee. Rather a sad name as they sacrifice their life when they feel there is danger to their colony. The distinct difference between our African Killer Bee and any other around the world is their defense response. Other backup bees will be sent in to defend the colony (sacrificing their lives by stinging the threat) when they feel in danger.


However this weekend there was no danger to either the swarming bees or the homesteading humans. The scout bees didn't waste much time in finding some of our spare bee boxes and calling in the rest of the family. It took a couple hours but they were eventually in. The sound of the buzzing filling the mountainside was exhilarating. Every day we peep at the happily dancing little bees. With our fruit trees beginning to bloom there is cause for many happy little bee dances.



Truly a wonderful experience, we only ever had swarming here about twenty-five years ago, now with human progress we never see them looking for new homes, although we still have many in the garden.

Filling up the box was fortunate, happy home sharing with bees on the dwelling @buckaroobaby

It really is a wonderful experience @joanstewart! It saddens me how easily people will errdicate bees. We even had (I'm happy to say HAD) a farmer in the area who poisoned all the bees in his orchard. He really can't be very clued up. You can imagine the outcry

Very annoying how many hives are raided and ruined by theft, farmers should welcome bees by not using any chemicals, bees should be protected in every way possible.

Watching them arrive is a grand occasion, glad the homed into your property now you can enjoy the fruits of the labour.

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While it's true that there are bad-tempered colonies out there, I learned from my beekeeping family that bees will generally not bother you if you don't bother them. So-called killer bees aren't docile, that's for sure but they are better than wasps by far. I was amazed to learn that people n the US can drive around with bee hives on the backs of trucks from orchard to orchard doing pollination services so ours are a little rough in comparison.

Definitely! When I was in the UK I was amazed to see beekeepers working the bees with NO bee suit. And also NO stings.

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The title was hilarious!!! If you want to see a grown man pee in his pants, put me right in the middle of the swarm.

One question, the swarming means, that there is another elected queen ready to settle somewhere else, right? (edit: I just read again, you were talking about it already, my bad!!!)

It's my next step, the bee hive. Soon, when SHTF, and we all will be very happy to find honey!!

Happy homesteading to you, hope things are getting a lil better!