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Jane
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I love the images you capture—this one is spectacular. Bees continue to amaze me. This morning, for the first time in my life, I saw a flying swarm. It was right outside our back door about 15 feet up. It hovered for a minute and then took off across our neighborhood. I followed it but couldn’t keep up. I sure hope it didn’t come from our hives…waiting until my husband gets home for him to check. He recently built a nuc so I stuck it in the kids’ (seldom used) tree house to see if I can lure the swarm back. Exciting (and a bit stressful), this bee business.

Rusty
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Thank you, Jane. After a swarm leaves the parent hive it lands in a nearby place—a tree, a fence post, mail box—and stays put while the scout bees find and agree on a new home. This can take somewhere from 30 minutes to five or six days.

Sometimes you hardly notice a swarm in a tree or somewhere else, until it gets ready to leave. At that time the volume increases, it takes to the air, hovers for a moment, and then takes off toward its new home.

I could be totally wrong, of course, but based on your description, I’m guessing that the swarm issued from your hive sometime in the last couple of days and landed in that tree. When you saw it today, the decision had been made on where to live and it was leaving for the new address.

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