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What happens to bees that aren’t collected?

What happens to bees that aren’t collected?


After the swarm ..

This sounds like a great title for a SciFi Horror movie! Sometimes we get calls after we have caught a swarm, saying that there are still some bees at the location.

This is quite normal as we are usually unable to get all the bees. The remaining bees tend to regroup back at the swarm site, attracted there by the scent of the queen left behind. They can stay like this for up to seven days before finally dispersing.


Bee Swarm on wall

Bee Swarm on Wall 2

Before and after on a wall

Once the bees are removed they are placed in a box with the queen, and the queen scent attracts the bees.

However, some bees are unable to locate the scent of the queen on the box and fly around the area, eventually settling back where the swarm first formed. This process can take several hours.

Eventually, sometimes after several days, the queens scent disappears, and the bees dissipate.

Bee Swarm on bush

Before and after on a bush

The same phenomenon is seen regardless of whether the bees swarm onto a wall or a bush.

It is practically impossible to get all the bees into the box when catching them.

The bees that are left will tend to clump together around the scent of the queen and may stay in this formation for many days depending on the temperature and the weather.

Bee Swarm left behind on bush

Don’t be alarmed if some bees remain and clump together after the swarm has been collected. The bees may remain there for up to seven days. They will remain docile and eventually disperse.

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