Curious about the Honeybee Swarms of Summer?

With the possibility of record-breaking heat on this first day of summer, I plan to stay out of the sun, but it seems the unseasonably warm weather these past few weeks has meant that thousands of honeybees have ramped up their annual swarming in the Northeast. The bees are taking over!

Emily S. Rueb has been keeping readers like me up to date on the many clumps of homeless bees that have taken to swarming public spaces in New York City. Over at City Room, she’s also been posting bee-related features such as “The Blessing of the Bees,” this adorable “Kids Draw the News” feature, and this neat slideshow of urban beehives. I’m no apiculturist, but her articles have definitely piqued my interest in how honeybees settle on a hive to call home. Have you seen any swarming this season?

I’ve yet to see a honeybee swarm in person, but if you want to learn the science behind the swarms from the safety of your armchair, I highly recommend Thomas Seeley’s Honeybee Democracy. And if you’re the e-reading type, you can also check out Prof. Seeley’s The Five Habits of Highly Effective Honeybees (and What We Can Learn from Them) from Princeton Shorts. Don’t forget the early summer honey in your iced tea!