Elaine Timm of Lebanon, Oregon, took our cover photo last April in her Willamette Valley bee yard. “It was,” she says, “my first chance to do inspections after a rainy spell. It was memorable for two reasons. First, because this was the first swarm in a THREE swarm day — ugh! The second swarm went to blackberry brambles, and the third went to the same spot in the holly tree, after I had caught the first one.
“Second, because although I had seen swarms clustered up before, this was the first time I had ever seen a swarm exit the colony and form. I was doing an inspection and remember looking at the colony to the north of me thinking, wow those are some pretty serious orientation flights, and then a few minutes later hearing THAT sound. Which is what … probably 30,000 bees with four wings each beating 200 times per second? Astounding.”