Topic Twelve - Swarming

Preknowledge: Interesting fact

When bees are swarming they usually do not sting, because they do not have a hive to defend.  A swarm is not dangerous.  It can be captured without getting stung.


Objectives
  1. To learn what swarming is
  2. To understand why swarming is a problem 
  3. To understand what causes a hive to swarm 
  4. To be able to recognize when your bees are getting ready to swarm
  5. To learn how to prevent a hive from swarming 
  6. To learn how to catch a swarm

Key Words:

Swarmwhen the queen bee leaves the hive with many worker bees to find a new home. She starts a new colony. The old colony is left to raise a new queen.

Swarm Cellqueen cell made by worker bees when the hive is getting ready to swarm. Swarm cells are different from other queen cells. Swarm cells usually hang near the bottom bar of a frame. Regular queen cells are found in the middle of the frame.

Ripe Swarm Cell – an uncapped queen cell hanging from the bottom of a frame. It must have an egg, or larva, and royal jelly inside but not yet be capped

iDevice icon Reflection: Questions to think about during the lesson
What is a swarm?
iDevice icon Reflection: Questions to think about during the lesson
Why do honeybees swarm?
iDevice icon Reflection: Questions to think about during the lesson
Is it a problem if my bees swarm?
iDevice icon Reflection: Questions to think about during the lesson
How can I stop my bees from swarming?
iDevice icon Reflection: Questions to think about during the lesson
Is it a good idea to destroy capped swarm cells?
Activity: Class Discussion

Think of a time when you have seen a swarm of bees.  Be prepared to help the class make a list of what the bees looked like.  What did they sound like?  What were they were doing?  Were you afraid of the swarm?  Why or why not?


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