Fred Boucher found this cluster of bees under one of his mating nucs. The bees were too tightly clustered and they were agitated and a loud squealing was heard from deep inside. WORKING BEES WERE KILLING A QUEEN!
The beekeeper explains in his video: ‘Sometimes bees will abscond from a mating nuc and I thought this was one of those tiny swarm clusters caused by a colony of bees absconding from a mating nuc but it was not.’ BUT THIS WAS NOT THE CASE!
What’s behind this weird and cruel phenomenon of nature?
Once the queen bee is near old age, she stops producing her distinct pheromone, or scent, indicating that she is in fact her nest’s leader. Without it, the bees recognize her as an intruder, and kill her without second thought.
Moreover, when a new queen is available, the workers will kill the reigning queen by “balling” her, colloquially known as “cuddle death.” They surround the intruder with their bodies, sealing it into an insect-ball. Their wings (or whatever) vibrate so much that the temperature exceeds about 118 degrees Fahrenheit, (optimally) killing whatever in the center.
In any cases an old queen had to die on this day and would have been killed through a terrible and mysterious phenomenon if not freed by the beekeeper!