Bee Tree Farms
- OUR BEES -
After purchasing bees our first year, we quickly learned that you don't always get what you pay for. We soon realized that the best honeybees are all around us. We see them every day at schools, parks, and in neighborhoods. These "survivor" bees live in tree cavities and not only do they survive year to year, but they thrive. Chemical treatments are not needed to deal with pests and diseases, feeding is not necessary, but every year they are healthy enough to multiply and produce enough honey to make it through the winter.
That is why most colonies from Bee Tree Farms come from a local swarm. In the spring, we spend a lot of time researching locations of wild honeybee colonies. We even go as far as tracking the bees back to their original hive in a tree. Then we place swarm boxes in these locations hoping that a wild colony considers our box as an option for their new nesting site. We must be doing something right because this year alone 11 swarms have chosen our swarm boxes as their new home!
So why do honeybees swarm? The short answer is because the healthy colony has become too big for their current home. In the spring, the queen begins laying eggs to increase the population to prepare for the nectar flow. As these bees hatch out, the tree cavity becomes too crowded and the worker bees make the difficult decision to swarm. Approximately half of the bees in the colony with the existing queen fly out of the cavity and temporarily land on a tree branch somewhere. From there, scout bees will identify several options for a new nesting site and communicate it to the other bees. Once all the bees agree on which site is best, the entire swarm moves in. Meanwhile, the original colony has everything necessary to raise a new queen and continue as before.