By: Executive Chef, Bret Andresen, who also personally manages our beekeeping and honey harvesting processes
When a colony of bees grows, whether it is in the wild or cultivated, occasionally the hive will grow so strong in bees that a portion of them will decide it is time to strike out on their own.
The careful beekeeper will see this and control the process, effectively splitting his hive into two happy and healthy hives. But the wild hive has no such benefactor. In these instances, it is not uncommon that you will see what is called a “swarm” of bees. When a colony reaches its capacity, they will create a new queen bee. This queen will maintain control over the current hive while the old queen will leave with a little over half of the workers from the colony.
They will then find a tree (or other suitable location) to create a new hive. When we spotted a swarm on a tree hanging over our garden, we knew we were in luck and have happily added a fourteenth hive to our property.