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Scouting Behavior

The Science of Scouting

Honeybee scouts guide their swarm into a permanent residence and start building comb, raising brood, and storing nectar. They like a confined space about the size of a five gallon bucket (40 liters), with a minimally 
sized entrance of two square inches in diameter and at least six feet up. To the right is a talk by Professor Thomas Seeley explaining his research on how bees choose their new home.  He has done absolutely spell bounding, ground breaking research!

In the wild, bees will take up residence in a hollow tree.  In neighborhoods, they may take up residence in man-made structures.  They may begin looking for place in your attic or walls. The are looking where caulk is split or the wall or ceiling have a gap they can slip through.

Honeybees Swarm to propagate themselves and form a new colony. In swarming, approximately half of an established colony departs with the original queen to form a new colony. Remaining honeybees raise a new queen and continue their original colony.

The swarm in transition may 'hang out' together and are about the size of a volleyball or football depending on their numbers. Often you will find swarms hanging in trees or on fences, picnic tables and even the sides of homes. Scout bees hunt for a location to move into and form a permanent colony. Swarms usually move to a permanent location within a few hours to a few days of swarming. Although they appear ominous, swarms are not usually dangerous and will not usually sting unless they have been without food for a while.