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Swarming = Geographical Exploration of Conditions & Forage

Many years ago (when I was even less experianced a beekeeper as I am now.)
I noticed that some colonies would swarm to such an extent that the parent hive did not survive.

I am of the opinion that bees do nothing inadvertantly and I puzzled over what their strategy might be.

The conclusion that I came to stemmed from the numbers of swarms and the directions of escape.

There were usually five or six swarms and each seemed to set off in a different direction.

The different directions suggested to me that the bees swarming at the time were aware of the existance of the freshly established swarms that had left hours or days before. And that they did not want to compete with them.

It then became plain to me that the bees were not 'propagating the race' but were exploring the geography. Any swarms finding a good place would thrive whilst those in poorer areas would fail.

The parent site was not important as it would be re-populated by a swarm from one of the daughter colonies at a subsequent time.


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