Rapid Bee Collection Hampshire 24th May 2015
This was probably one of the quickest #swarm collections I’ve conducted.
It was a pleasant 18 degrees just before 2000hrs, there was another swarm to collect so I had to get this one right, no pressure!
The swarm was impeccably behaved, I shook them into the box, popped in the frames, put the lid on and voila, they began fanning at the entrance, which is a good indication that the queen is in the box.
When #bees fan they release a pheromone, the nasonov pheromone, this pheromone is released by worker bees to orient returning forager bees to the colony, however when #swarm collecting, bees fanning the pheromone at the entrance of the collection box are effectively letting the rest of the swarm know the box is home.
It is not cast in stone however! If the bees decide they do not like the box they will leave, fortunately have not had one do this yet.
As shown in the photo below, bees fanning at the entrance of a collection box or hive literally have their wings fanning at high speed whilst raising their abdomen as they release the nasonov pheromone, clever bees.
The bees entered the box so quickly I was out of there a few minutes later.
For clarity this is not the norm, usually you need to wait for an hour or more, or even leave the collection box into the evening.
There have been times when I have needed to leave the collection box overnight.
The complete video below shows from my cutting the branch the swarm were attached too, right through to a close up of the bees fanning at the box entrance.
You have a good indication that the queen is in the collection box when the bees fan there wings at the entrance.