What Is a Group of Bees Called?

The most popular name for a gathering of bees is “swarm.” The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center states that other names for a swarm include “hive” and “grist of bees.” During the summer, swarms can gather in a colony and contain up to 35,000 bees.

A hive contains three different kinds of bees that live in a colony. The needs of a single queen are at the centre of this extremely organised society. Hundreds of male drones and thousands of female worker bees are present in the colony.

As the drones are expelled from the colony in the fall, the bee population is virtually exclusively female by that time. As female workers die off and the queen becomes less productive, the number of bees in the swarm drops to as few as 5,000. Swarms don’t last long. Drones have a lifespan of 56 days compared to a female worker bee’s 40 days.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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