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Episode 3

Spring has well and truly sprung and the hives are going from strength to strength, but that brings with it a problem of its own - the swarm. As the colonies become overcrowded, the bees become likely to depart in a swarm with the queen, leaving just a few behind to rear a new queen. It's a natural process, but for the beekeeper it can be a disaster, leaving the hive all but empty with little prospect of a harvest of honey.

Martha discovers methods to control the swarms, including clipping the wings of the queen, but she also meets a natural beekeeper for whom wing clipping is horrifying. When one of her hives swarms, Martha's neighbours leap to the rescue and she harvests the first honey of the year.

Release date:

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 4 May 2014 22:30


Role Contributor
PresenterMartha Kearney
Series ProducerTom Sheahan
Executive ProducerChris Shaw
Executive ProducerEmma Read
Executive ProducerClare Paterson
Production ManagerEmma Wood
Sound RecordistTom Curry

BBC Nature: Bees

BBC Nature: Bees

Bees in the Apidae family include the familiar honey bees and bumblebees.