How many bees in a swarm the size of a softball/football/soccer ball/basketball?

# Thread: How many bees in a swarm the size of a softball/football/soccer ball/basketball?

1. Join Date
Jun 2014
Location
Palos Verdes, CA, USA
Posts
1,214

## How many bees in a swarm the size of a softball/football/soccer ball/basketball?

I get this question all the time when I arrive to collect a swarm, "How many bees are in there?"

And I usually just say, "Oh, a few thousand," but without actually knowing.

So how many bees would y'all all guess are in the following swarms?

BowlingAlleySwarm.jpg

SecondSwarm2018.jpg

TorranceSwarm.jpg

TorranceSwarm2_90503.jpg

ArtCenterSwarm041919.jpg

2.

3. Join Date
Apr 2016
Location
Rutland County, Vermont,USA
Posts
2,141

## Re: How many bees in a swarm the size of a softball/football/soccer ball/basketball?

Oh, like a "how many jellybeans are in the jar" contest. I will offer a guess based upon my jellybean jar success, but only if you have counted the bees and if there is a prize. In other words: no idea. The only way I know how to estimate is based on 300 bees in a mite test. J

4. ## Re: How many bees in a swarm the size of a softball/football/soccer ball/basketball?

I usually answer that question, by first estimating how many pounds of bees are in the swarm/weight of the container. Then multiple that by 2,500 for an estimate

5. Join Date
Apr 2018
Location
Posts
557

## Re: How many bees in a swarm the size of a softball/football/soccer ball/basketball?

How does the size compare to a package? A 3 lb package is about 10k bees so this will give you a starting poing.

6. Join Date
Dec 2010
Location
Ojai, California
Posts
2,573

## Re: How many bees in a swarm the size of a softball/football/soccer ball/basketball?

A full standard 9-11/16ths inch brood box with 10 frames packed with bees should be about 30,000 bees, so 3,000 to a frame, 1,500 to a side, but this is often an over-estimate because the are more spread out than when the whole box is packed tight.

So put the swarm in a box of frames and fudge your estimate on the light side, numerically. I will often give a SWAG at about 1,000 bees per frame side if the population is low, even less if the frame is not entirely covered.

7. Join Date
Dec 2011
Location
Queens, NYC
Posts
31

## Re: How many bees in a swarm the size of a softball/football/soccer ball/basketball?

Doing a Google search, I found there are 3-4k bees per pound. Basketball size is maybe 5-6 pounds. Go from there.

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