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Waggle Dances on Swarm

I recently watched this video again. We made this video a few years ago. I want to share this video because it shows some vigorous waggle dances. That’s something to be aware of while catching swarms.


Swarms, waggle dances, swarms absconding are fresh on my mind at the moment because this morning I fully expected to bring a swarm that I caught a couple of weeks ago back home again.

I caught this swarm that I suspect came out of one of my splits making a new queen. I suspected it was the first virgin queen to emerge. As I caught it, I noticed a lot of vigorous waggle dancing, so I took it away which is my so called “foolproof” method of preventing a swarm from absconding, so I thought.

This morning I saw no activity at the entrance. I lifted the roof to find no bees with the brood frame eaten out by hive beetles.

That was another lesson learnt. “Don’t take bees for granted”. Even though I used a beautiful frame of brood, a mixture of fully drawn stickies & wax foundation in a 10 frame brood box with fresh pheromones, the persuasive scout bees had other ideas. They must have found something pretty good.


I’ve used your ‘foolproof’ method on 2 swarms with great success.

maybe you needed to waggle dance and convince the bees to stay @JeffH

Wilma’s videoing is great in that YouTube clip. The eggs in that frame standout so clearly!

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Hi & thanks Fred. “Foolproof” is a word I’ll have to remove from my beekeeping vocabulary. “In the majority of cases” is probably a better term to use. Or even “vast majority”.

I agree, Wilma did do a good job of capturing those eggs in the video.

I was impressed with the waggle dances those bees were doing. I never took any notice of them before.

Recently I captured a swarm. The home-owner had bees investigating a gap in his wall at the same time. While the bees were still going into my box, I noticed a bee that was covered with grey dust doing waggle dances. I speculated that the bee must have picked up the dust from inside the wall cavity. I was tempted to take it away after most of the bees were in the box, and not wait till dark. I waited till dark, the bees were still there & they didn’t abscond later. I got the home-owner to spray the gap with surface spray, that generally stops scout bees from continuing to investigate any particular spot.


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Great video! Thanks :slight_smile: