How many bees are there in a hive?

Authorities differ widely on the number of honeybees composing a hive or colony. It has been estimated that a swarm of bees when it leaves the mother hive constitutes from one thousand to six thousand bees. A colony of bees has its maximum population during the time of storing surplus honey. Then a good colony, roughly estimated, may contain as many as fifty thousand workers, one queen and a few hundred drones, although the average hive contains fewer than that number. A honeybee weighs a little less than one three-hundredth!’ of an ounce, there being about five thousand in a pound. Accordingly a swarm of fifty thousand bees would weigh about ten pounds. The amazing thing is that several pounds of honeybees in a swarm can support themselves on the limb of a tree when only a comparatively few of them are touching the limb at any one, time. During the.,fall and early winter the colony decreases, in number. When brood rearing begins in the spring the colony has become so reduced in population that ten thousand workers constitute a good colony. There are no drones in the colony at this season, for they are all driven out at the end of the summer honey flow.