by Diane Deming
My husband and I were working in the yard yesterday, and heard a loud buzzing or humming sound. When we looked up we saw thousands of bees flying around the top of a very tall tree. When the buzzing stopped in about a half hour, I retrieved the binoculars to get a closer look. About 40 feet up, most all of the bees were clustered on a large branch of the tree with many more just buzzing around and trying to land. This is called a bee swarm. It happens when the colony is looking for a new home. In the spring the queen bee leaves with a large group of worker bees to form a new colony. The swarm may settle just 20-30 meters away for a few days until scout bees return with information on suitable nesting sites for the new colony.
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The way that honey bees communicate is especially interesting. For additional information on the fascinating life of a honey bee colony go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Swarming_(honey_bee).