How many bees in a swarm the size of a softball/football/soccer ball/basketball?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,214

    Default 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
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

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

    Default 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. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    1,379

    Default 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
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    557

    Default 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. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,573

    Default 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. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Queens, NYC
    Posts
    31

    Default 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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