Redirecting stingless bee swarms can be a challenge. When you have 9+ hives in a group, a swarm can be quite large. Just like people crowded in a street, if a big fight broke out it would be chaos! Bees have a great visual sensor as one of their many sensors. Although scent is a stronger motivator, visuals can be a powerful tool. EVERY bee swarm is different and it is only after 7 years of watching them closely that I am starting to learn the language they speak. Let’s have a closer look on how to use a visual to help bees find a place of peace and contentment amongst the chaos.
Tips on Redirecting swarms
Something to consider is the type of swarm you have. There are many types of stingless bee swarms (See here) and each swarm type likes its own thing. By understanding what they want, you can shift the swarming behaviour. In the case above, 2 factors contributed to this swarm. 1) Moving a foreign hive to an area with bees the other hives didn’t know and 2) several pre-existing mating swarms. While both of these swarms need different things to solve them, it was the fighting of bees that I wanted to stop. The fighting itself was caused by bees not knowing which hive to enter in all the confusion. So the solution was to guide them in some form or another.
The problem faced when trying to undertake these issues is that the bees cannot be forced to do what you want them to do. Bees are highly intelligent creatures and only change their focus when they decide as a group to do so. This is very important to remember when working with bees. Bees must choose things for themselves. To understand a little more about this concept check out this post as it is very hard for me to explain. The more your mind is wondering about the bees welfare and what they are feeling, the more it will become second nature.
In short, each time you see a new swarm appear in your apiary stop and think what might have happened. Is it too hot? Did i do something that I don’t normally do? Is something else upsetting them? Is there a problem they are trying to sort out? Find out what it is and then take different approaches to solve it. I hope you get the chance to redirect a swarm in your yard and that this post helps people to be creative with their bee swarming problems.
Found a great little write up on what bees can teach us about leadership, efficiency and growth- The Wisdom of Bees