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Description Of Swarm Issuing

Categories: SWARMING.
Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

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

n 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