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Swarming bees departed hive


Three months ago I watched bees from my hive swarm and depart my back yard.
The hive went quiet and until now i have not had time to deal with my hive.
It is my understanding when bees swarm they depart and leave with the queen and find somewhere else to establish a colony.
Today I opened the end door to find honey in centre four flows and a much regenerated bee population in the hive.
Why is this so.


When bees swarm, they usually leave the hive set up for a new queen to emerge. She does her mating flight and things carry on.


What you had happen was a Spring swarming where the hive still has enough bees remaining and eggs to make a new queen from and continue on. That is a preventable event very often for those that practice good hive management. A swarming weaken the colony till the new queen has emerged and returns from her mating flight, a week after that she should be laying eggs.

Absconding, as you thought had happened, is when all the bees leave never to return. This can happen for a number of reasons like if they are constantly being robbed by another colony, the hive space has become too small.


this was all entirely normal- however it was never a good idea or acceptable for you to not inspect the hive over the last three months. Whilst the bees generally leave behind queen cells and enough bees to repopulate the hive when they swarm they don’t always manage that successfully. If they hadn’t managed it in your case: after three months when you looked in the hive you would have found a huge mess of wax moths and larvae with all the combs reduced to foul webs, cocoons and muck. If you live where there are hive beetles it would be even worse. If you are going to keep bees you really need to have the time to do periodic inspections and manage the bees. You can’t always prevent swarming- but you do need to be able to look into the hives in spring at the very least once a month. Ideally you would inspect more than that. It doesn’t take long- and you really need to be able to do it if you keep bees responsibly.

It’s not just for the sake of the bees either: if you had managed to avoid the swarm three months ago- you would likely have a lot more honey right now. When a hive swarms it is set back considerably and can take months to recover to the same level.


Thankyou all for the advice and I will follow up with. I experienced a health event preventing me from attending to my hive. All is ok now. Thanks again.