If you are ever attacked by a swarm of bees, it is important not to panic. Bee swarms are caused when a hive becomes overpopulated, a new queen emerges, and the old queen escapes with about 20,000 of her loyal followers. The swarm will seek temporary shelter as scouts hunt for a safe and more permanent location. In more urban areas, bee swarms are sometimes discovered on lamp posts, cars, and windows.
Humanity has long had a love-hate relationship with bees. While sometimes terrifying, bees bring with them a lot of benefits. First and foremost, bees are critical for our crops. The bees will collect nectar and pollen from plants to create their food. Plants need them to do this as part of their reproductive process. So, bees are needed for fruits and new seeds. This leads us to the second benefit: honey.
Honey has often been described as the world’s most perfect food. Even though honey is loaded with sugar, it has many nutritional benefits. Unrefined honey is full of various antioxidants that may provide major benefits for your health. Some studies have found that honey can lower oxidative stress, decrease triglycerides, and even lessen fat gain. Honey can even kill bacteria and speed the healing of wounds. Best of all, honey does not go bad. Archaeologists have discovered edible honey in ancient tombs that are thousands of years old.
Despite all the good bees do, seeing a swarm is still very scary. In fact, many people have at least heard a story in which a person was severely stung or even killed by a swarm. However, the reason that bees swarm is mostly a need for more space. The main activities of a colony, such as collecting pollen and making honey, will require a lot of real estate. When space starts to become an issue, their solution is to swarm.
A bee colony is far more than a collection of individuals. In many respects, a hive is its own organism. Essentially, the needs of the many will always take precedence over the needs of the one. Therefore, as a collective, the hive will always work for the greater good of the whole. Regardless, in many cases, a swarm is a form of reproduction. When a successful colony grows to a certain size, it will decide to split into two, each with its own queen. The group that splits off begins its journey as a swarm.
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