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Description Of Swarm Issuing

Category: SWARMING.

When the day is fair and not too much wind, first swarms generally
issue from ten o'clock till three; if you are on the lookout, the first
outside indication of a swarm, will be an unusual number of bees around
the entrance, from one to sixty minutes before they start. The utmost
confusion seems to prevail, bees running about in every direction; the
entrance apparently closed with the mass of bees, (perhaps one
exception in twenty,) presently a column from the interior forces a
passage to the open air; they come rushing out by hundreds, all
vibrating their wings as they march out; and when a few inches from the
entrance, rise in the air; some run up the side of the hive, others to
the edge of the bottom-board. If you have seen the old queen come
rushing out the first one, and the rest following her, as we are often
told she does, you have seen what I never did in a first swarm! Second
and third swarms conduct themselves quite differently. I have seen the
old queen issue a few times, but not till half the swarm was out.

The bees when first rising from the hive, describe circles of but few
feet, but as they recede, they spread over an area of several rods.
Their movement are much slower than usual, in a few minutes thousands
may be seen revolving in every possible direction! A swarm may be seen
and heard, at a distance, where fifty hives, ordinarily at work, would
not be noticed! When about out of the hive, or soon after, some branch
of a tree or bush is usually selected on which to cluster. In less than
half a minute after the spot is indicated, even when the bees are
spread over an acre, they are gathered in the immediate vicinity, and
all cluster in a body from five to ten minutes after leaving the hive.
They should now be hived immediately, as they show impatience if left
long, especially in the sun; also, if another stock should send out a
swarm while they were hanging there, they would be quite sure to mix

Next: Manner Of Hiving Can Be Varied

Previous: Bottom-boards For Hiving

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