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Knowledge of a
Margaret Edge
Was this bee really carrying a message?
ON WEDNESDAY 4 June, I was putting on my gardening
shoes to spend the afternoon in the garden (where
else?) when I spotted a honey bee buzzing round my
head. She then flew into the house and through the
front room to the passage where the coats are hung.
There she stopped and hovered round my beesuit. Only
half noticing her and with my mind on all the jobs that
needed doing, I decided to go down the garden.
It was a fine day and there were many bees flying. I thought
about the bee and wondered if there could be a swarm
somewhere. I went and stood a few yards away from the
apiary, which is situated at the far end of the garden. It is
mostly surrounded by trees and I could not see any extra
activity. Our next door neighbour was mowing his large
paddock with a tractor so, not being able to hear anything,
I went back to my gardening.
Later on I went back up the house and in the porch,
buzzing around, was a honey bee (was it the same one I
wonder?). As I went into the house, she followed me, then
stopped at my beesuit and buzzed round it.
OK, I thought, perhaps there is a swarm. So I donned my
suit and went for a walk round the apiary. Luckily our
neighbour had finished mowing and had gone inside and
all was quiet. I found the swarm almost immediately – a
good sized one hanging in the hawthorn bush.
Did that bee try to tell me there was a swarm? Did the
same bee wait over an hour for me to come back to the
house? And how did that bee know to hover round my
beesuit? Twice!
For some reason, I do tend to know when there is a swarm
around and even if there is going to be one on some days.
However, that day I needed a bit of prompting – twice. z
Do bees really come to tell
the beekeeper that there is
a swarm in the apiary?
Bee Craft Digital November 2008 Page 15
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