I used to think it was impossible to get started with bees in NYC with swarms, over the more convenient (though arguably inferior) method of procuring bees in package or nuc form. This season has kind of got me second guessing myself.
Swarms have been popping up all over the place this spring. It’s amazing. And while some high profile urban beekeepers like to make assumptions about the quality of stewardship being demonstrated when these colonies expand, I think it’s safe to say that some bees are just determined grow quickly and divide. All of the brood nest expanding and super stacking in the world won’t stop them. Heck! I know some of those beekeepers wagging fingers at new-bees and I’ve seen their bees clinging to the sides of buildings with children playing around beside them in spite of all their self-appointed expertise. Quit faking the funk! We all deal with swarming one way or another. It’s in the job description.
Apis Mellifera make their own decisions…bees swarming may be seem like an inconvenience but it’s also a blessing. A bee colony is a sensitive organism and if it can make it through the long winter and propagate itself in the spring, that’s an accomplishment on their part. With these reproductive divisions of strong colonies, we might be able to ease up our dependence on commercial operations with our own locally adapted bees! That’s good thing!
My suggestion? Instead of petty finger pointing, assumptions and nastiness, let’s congratulate those bees on a successful overwintering and help our fellow beekeepers knock that cluster into a new hive for a change!