I was starting work in the garden this morning when I came upon a swarm of bees resting in one of our beds of fava beans.
There was a time when Tom and I would have found this alarming, but this morning it couldn’t have been more delightful. More bees, more honey, more fun!
The usual causes of swarming are either because the original hive is getting crowded or an aging queen is making way for her successor. One morning, the old queen will fly off with a bunch of bees in search of new digs. The whole gang can’t go house-hunting at the same time, so they’ll settle someplace, like a hanging basket in our garden, while the scouts are off, well, scouting. This is when bees are at their most docile since they don’t have a hive to defend. This is certainly not always the case, but the colony in hand were as gentle as gentle can be. Luckily the hives we already have are only about a few feet away and I thought I’d could pick up the hanging basket and walk it over to an empty hive box.