Swarming takes place in New Zealand from as early as September until late January. Swarming is when the current queen bee in a hive leaves with a large group of worker bees, seeking out a new home to form a new colony. They will often settle on a branch of a tree, a fence post or a wall to rest while scout bees hunt for a suitable hollow cavity. There are varying sized swarms; a very large cluster of bees is likely to be a ‘prime’ swarm and is the first swarm to have left the hive with lots and lots of bees, often larger than two basket balls. Smaller ‘secondary’ swarms are also possible, more like the size of a football.
If you see a honeybee swarm in the Auckland area call me on 0210 228 2668 and I will do my best to come and collect it, or let another beekeeper know closer to your location. When you call make sure you have on hand:
- The exact address
- Directions to where the swarm is on the property
- How large the swarm is, and
- Height off the ground
I hive swarms in our natural timber Warré hives and site them in apiaries scattered throughout the wild Waitakere ranges.