Heathrow’s Swarming – The First Honeybee Swarm for 2016 Season
#Heathrow airport, ‘the’ busiest airport on our planet, a hive of activity, where a huge number of people and synchronised process’s come together in harmony, providing millions of us the means to travel great distances, for that welcome holiday or even for business, etc.
Part of their natural life-cycle, honeybees swarm when they run out of room in their current home, also to increase colony numbers.
Swarming occurs in late spring early summer, the old queen departs the beehive with a significant number of worker #bees, in many cases, more than ten thousand bees.
So what happens, when the world’s busiest airport meets a swarm of over ten thousand honeybees?
Given the importance of honeybees (Also all other insect pollinators) it is so very reassuring that Heathrow Airports Limited preference is to move and save a #bee swarm rather than just exterminate them.
As the images attest, the bees were very calm and non-aggressive, we hear many times a description of bees in a swarm looking angry, this misunderstanding is courtesy of Hollywood, western #honey bees are in general gentle creatures.
When honeybees are swarming, they do not have any brood (Young) to protect, they are on a mission, to find a new home, and the clock is ticking.
Always ensure you contact your local #beekeeping association swarm co-ordinator or go here to find a local swarm co-ordinator.
After the main body of the swarm had been collected, we came across a rare glimpse of a worker bee scout performing a waggle dance.
Many of you may have heard of the waggle dance, in the context of a returning forager bee sharing the location of good nectar or pollen foraging.
In this case, this waggle dance was from a worker bee scout, specifically sharing directions to a potential new home, this is not caught on camera often.
Note that due to the glare of the sun on the screen, it was difficult to follow the waggling bee, she waggles offscreen between 7 and 15 seconds, but you can clearly see the attention she is receiving from the other bees.