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Author Topic: weather and swarming - do bees know forecast?  (Read 897 times)

Offline tandemrx

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weather and swarming - do bees know forecast?
« on: June 05, 2010, 12:29:41 PM »
So, as I expected, our best hive swarmed this past week.  Luckily I had an inkling and visited the bee yard and found them in a tree (a bit high up, but with a bit of hassle got them hived and queen is laying in new hive).  I had already split the suspect hive, but I found some swarm cells that were not capped yet, but there were probably capped ones - I didn't look too far - so the urge was probably already well established.

I rather think that there might be after-swarms and would like to possibly catch any big ones.

But, hives are about 6 miles away and I can't get there every day to check. 

So on these upcoming days where there are a few stormy days in the forecast, can I presume that bees are pretty smart and they won't swarm on a day that is 70% chance for thunderstorms?  Maybe just visit the bee yard on days that are forecast to be clear?

Somehow I figure the bees must have a sense of upcoming weather so they don't head out into a horrible weather scenario for them.  But, how good of weather forecasters are they . . . or are they as bad as the guys on TV  :-D

Offline riverrat

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Re: weather and swarming - do bees know forecast?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2010, 12:40:27 PM »
last year i picked up a swarm with the tornado sirens blowing. the swarm had issued 2 hours before the storm came in. I would have to say the only thing that would keep them from issuing a swarm is if the weather conditions are such that a bee would not normally fly
never take the top off a hive on a day that you wouldn't want the roof taken off your house

Offline JP

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Re: weather and swarming - do bees know forecast?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2010, 12:42:07 PM »
Actually, they are decent weather forecasters as for as swarming goes. I get many calls though on some that swarmed but to be caught in their resting spot through several downpours. Had one call just now in fact, been there 3 days today.

I find the warmer it is, the shorter the rest. Now the moon (gravitational pull/atmospheric pressure) controls just about every living thing, particularly so with bee swarms. Full moon and swarms go hand in hand, the track record in my area proves that.

They are very good at predicting cold fronts, I have witnessed this. In fact, this past Feb down in West Palm Beach at Brendhan's get together, all the bees we were working with went into cluster mode approximately an hour and 1/2 before a cold front came in.

We were so busy that weekend we hadn't checked the weather for the following day and that night, but the bees were telling us a front was coming, and so it did. It turned cold and windy and the bees knew it was coming, was very cool.

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Offline kathyp

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Re: weather and swarming - do bees know forecast?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 12:45:23 PM »
i get calls just as thunder storms are coming in.  the last one i picked up swarmed in the middle of a storm and stayed 4 days through really nasty weather.  they were one soggy mess.
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