Why do bees leave the hive in autumn?

Keeping and breeding bees requires a competent approach. Improper care can result in bees swarming in the fall. This process is accompanied by the relocation of a part of the bee colony to another dwelling. Most often, the swarm migrates due to lack of space with an increase in workers.

Why bees fly away from the hive in the fall

Swarming is called an unexpected gathering of bees in the fall from their home. Insects leave the hive in a general crowd, together with the queen bee. In the former dwelling, the swarm leaves honey and printed brood. At first glance, there is no apparent reason for migration. But there are factors that can trigger the swarming of bees. These include:

  • lack of storage space for nectar as a result of overpopulation;
  • overheating of the hive or draft;
  • lack of melliferous plants near the hive;
  • the wrong choice of material for building a hive;
  • aging of the uterus;
  • podmore in honey stored for the winter period;
  • electromagnetic field unfavorable for the swarm.

Sometimes beekeepers provoke swarming on purpose. This is necessary to increase the population of the species. But this process has a negative impact on the quality of the crop. In this case, the distance between the cells is reduced to 9 mm. Simultaneously, the swarm is fed with sugar syrup. But more often than not, beekeepers try to create favorable conditions for the bees. This reduces the risk of them swarming.

Important! Most often, swarming is carried out in warm and dry weather, about 10 days after sowing the mother liquor.

Signs of an autumn gathering of bees

Beekeepers can predict the swarming process about 7-9 days before it starts. The following signs help in this:

  • the formation of queen cells on the honeycomb;
  • increased buzzing in the hive;
  • stop sowing brood;
  • the presence of a large number of drone brood;
  • concentration of worker bees on the landing board of the hive.

To make sure that swarming is possible, it is necessary to install a control frame in the hive, having previously divided it in half. The foundation should be partially pulled over the lower part. In this case, the upper part should be empty. If the bees begin the process of filling the honeycomb, then there is no need to wait for swarming. The appearance of drone brood and queen cells testifies to the negative development of events.

List of possible causes of bees swarming in autumn

In most cases, bees fly away from the nest in autumn due to improper actions of the beekeeper or changes in weather conditions. When the atmosphere in the dwelling becomes unfavorable for the further work of the swarm, he is forced to look for a more comfortable place for his stay. In some cases, the swarming process is initiated by the uterus, and the rest of the family rush after her.

Bee diseases

In the fall, the swarm can become infected with an infection or a virus. Most often, against the background of the disease, deformation of the wings is noted. The most common infection typical of bees is melanosis. He is able to provoke the death of the queen bee, which means the termination of the process of reproduction of the swarm.

The causative agent of the disease is mold. Most often, it is concentrated in the epithelium of the oviduct, exerting a depressing effect on the process of laying eggs. The uterus becomes inactive, its abdomen increases in size.Ultimately, the swarm can push the sick queen bee out of the hive, where she finally dies. Another scenario is the beginning of swarming.

Seasonal activity of ticks

In the period from late summer to early autumn, the activity of varroa mites increases. They suppress the immunity of bees and spread dangerous diseases. To prevent swarming as a result of the destruction of the bee nest, preventive measures should be taken. To do this, after harvesting the last harvest, the bee hive is treated with chemicals. Finding ticks is easy enough. They are located directly on the body of the worker bees.

Comment! To rid the dwelling of bees from ticks, use "Fumagol" or "Timol".

Violation of the schedule and feeding norms

Beekeepers often feed insects with sugar syrup. This has a positive effect on the quality of the crop. Overfeeding leads to the fact that the younger generation does not have time to process it. For this reason, serious diseases develop that reduce the efficiency of the swarm. Therefore, it is important to dose the top dressing.

An old or diseased uterus

At the head of the bee swarm is the queen. She is responsible for laying eggs and rearing larvae. Its average life span is 5 years. But only in the first 2 years, the laying of eggs is carried out at an accelerated pace. In the swarm mother liquor there are several cells in which future queens are laid. Over time, the reproductive function of an active queen bee decreases. For this reason, the swarm's defenses are weakened. If the swarm does not have time to replace the queen with a young individual, the swarming process will begin.

Decreased bee activity

If the bees flew out of the hive in September, the reason may lie in their weakened state. In this case, the swarm is in search of a stronger family in order to maintain its population. The activity of the swarm can be influenced by weather conditions, the ecological situation and the actions of the beekeeper. Often, the swarming process is provoked by the nearby cell towers. If the swarm was initially weak, the beekeeper needs to combine it with another family. Starting a new family is best done in the spring. This will help avoid swarming.

Frames with a swarm of bees from a weak colony are transplanted into a stronger hive. It is important to make sure that the bees adapt to the new smell and consider it their own. To do this, the hive is sprayed with a decoction of mint or lemon balm. Do not leave the swarm in the same place. It is advisable to change the location by putting some hay on the board. Its representatives of the bee swarm will be used as a reference point for the first time.

Low-quality honeycomb

Swarming of bees in the fall can develop due to the wrong selection of material for the hive. The excessive smell of chemicals from the paint scares them away. Therefore, it is necessary to pay increased attention to the selection of building materials. The high quality is evidenced by even and correctly built honeycomb. The lumen of the frame must be completely filled with them. If the honeycomb changes its hue, it becomes unusable.

Increase in the honeydew

Paddy is called the waste products of insects that feed on the sap of plants. It is a liquid with a sticky consistency and a sweet taste. Most often, aphids are involved in the production of honeydew. The liquid becomes so much that it begins to drip from the trees. That is why she was given such a name.

In addition to nectar, a swarm of bees can collect honeydew. This is typical for the dry period, when other sources of honey collection disappear. In large quantities, the pad provokes poisoning. This phenomenon is called honeydew toxicosis of bees. It ends with the death of the working part of the swarm. Due to the gradual disintegration of the family, swarming begins in order to find the most favorable conditions.

What to do if bees fly out of the hive in the fall

If bees fly out of their homes in the fall, this process can be prevented by taking preventive measures in time. To do this, it is necessary to regularly observe the behavior of the family in different life cycles. It is also worthwhile to approach the construction of a hive with responsibility. It is important to give preference to quality materials and periodically check the home of the bee swarm for the presence of honeydew.

During the period of increased activity of ticks, preventive treatment of the hive is carried out. This will help avoid weakening the swarm due to disease. Don't overfeed your bees. If you suspect swarming, it is advisable to cut the diet several times. It is equally important to regularly check your surroundings for odors. Because of them, the swarm can change its place of residence. If irritating factors are present around the nest, it is necessary to move the hive to another location.

If it is not possible to prevent swarming, special traps should be used. It is recommended to use large boxes for catching swarms. To increase the chances of a successful result, you should set 2-3 traps at once. Inside the boxes, you need to make ventilation holes and place frames with drying. The optimal amount is from 5 to 8 pieces. Since the swarm in most cases stops on pines or spruce, traps must be hung on these trees. It is recommended to grease the boxes with special preparations or needles.

After the swarm has settled into the trap, it is transferred back to the hive. This should be done in the late evening when all the bees have finished their activity. It is important to ensure the presence of a queen before swarm transplant.

Another effective way to prevent swarming of bees is by clipping the wings of the queen. It is recommended to remove 1/3 of one wing. This will be enough to keep the swarm in place. This method does not affect the reproductive capacity of the family.

A quiet change of the uterus will help if it is carried out in advance. The bee swarm must be at the limit of its capabilities. The most suitable period for this procedure is from late April to early May. If measures are taken during this period, a complete change of queens will occur by the end of June. This will avoid swarming in the fall.

Attention! A good prevention of diseases is the treatment of the bee house with hot air and propolis alcohol solution.


Swarming of bees in autumn brings a lot of concern to beekeepers. But with the right approach, you can avoid swarm migration and preserve their ability to produce honey. The sooner signs of impending swarming are detected, the more chances are to keep the swarm in full force.

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