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Last year our hives SWARMED a total of 4 times.
That means the Queen got up and flew away, with half the hive.
Before swarming, the hive creates several NEW queens to take over. Only ONE queen will survive, hopefully mate successfully and start laying those valuable eggs.
Swarming behavior is a sign of a healthy hive.
But it sets back the schedule getting the colony ready for the next winter, and beekeepers hate to lose a good queen!
So swarming 4 times is kind of a disaster if you are hoping to harvest honey.
In 2021 we increased to 3 hives!
It was a rainy summer, so their main forage season was a washout. They made up for it by working extra hard in the fall. The hives now seem heavy enough to make it through winter. Each hive has one Queen, and the bees cluster around her to keep her warm, and she should begin laying eggs again in early spring.
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