If a beehive gets too crowded, some of the bees decide to leave with the queen and start a new hive.  The half of the bees left in the original hive make a new queen and continue life as usual.  The half that swarm fly to a branch or something and ball up together around the queen.  They send out scouts to find a place to begin a new hive.  Then the group set up housekeeping in the best location available.

Clark is on the swam list which means when someone sees a swarm hanging out on a branch they call the bee club who in turn contact people on the swarm list to go get the bees.  This is a great way to get a free hive of bees.  The bee keeper simply shakes the bees off the branch into a hive box, closes up the box and takes the bees home.

Sometimes people don’t notice a swarm until it has established a new hive.  In the wall of your house or shed for example.  We’ve encountered this situation twice this summer/fall.  The first case was a hive in the back of a shed.  We removed a sheet of plywood to expose the hive.


Behind the comb you see here are three more layers of honey comb.  We cut it into rectangles that fit in a frame and put the whole thing into a new hive box.  We were able to salvage the queen, and most of the eggs, larva, honey, and bees.  Yeah! A new hive.


4 thoughts on “Bees

  1. Are you guys brave or crazy? Do the kids ever get in the way of the bees? Can’t help but think of My Girl (is that the name of the movie where someone is attacked by bees?) Anyway, always an adventure of some sort on your homestead, my friend.

  2. Wow… I’ve seen your other posts about bees, but this one really brings it home. I’m grateful for folks like Clark who will rescue the bees (read the human residents where the bees live)! Great post.

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