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Swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees. This swarm can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees. Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, usually within a four to six week period depending on the locale, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the honey producing season.

Swarming is the honey bee colonies’ natural means of reproduction. In the process of swarming the original single colony reproduces to two and sometimes more colonies. Normally, the reproduction swarms settle 20–30 m away from the original nest for a period and will then leave for a new nest site after getting information from scout bees. Scout bees search for suitable cavities in which to construct the swarm’s home. Successful scouts will then come back and report the location of suitable nesting sites to the other bees.

The bees we collect as a swarm are those that have left the original hive but have yet to find a new suitable home. Once they have found that home they are classed as a colony and therefore we are not able to collect them. In such instances, where the new home is not satisfactory to the human site holder, a professional company will need to be contacted to remove them.

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