We’ve had several honey bee swarms end up in trees near our home this late Spring. That coupled with my recently buying a few jars of raw, unfiltered honey got me to looking into how honey is actually made. I found a most fascinating explanation right here at Mickelberry Gardens in nearby Troutdale, Oregon.
“Swarming is the completely natural way the hive replicates itself. When there’s plenty of honey, pollen, and brood (honeybee larvae) and everything is going well for the hive, the worker bees begin feeding a few larvae royal jelly, to create a new queen. The old queen leaves with about half of the workers in the hive. In a great leap of faith, they swarm out together and form a large clump nearby, often on a tree branch. Then scout bees search for a suitable new place for a hive.
Bee swarms are extremely vulnerable to the elements, and many die. Also, especially in urban environments, the bees sometimes choose a site that is not appropriate, like your mailbox, garbage can, or barbeque grill.” Swarm Removal