Most research on growing bacterial colonies on agar plates has concerned the effect of genetic or morphotype variation. Some studies have indicated that there is a correlation between microscopic bacterial motion and macroscopic colonial expansion, especially for swarming strains, but no measurements have been obtained for a single strain to relate the microscopic scale to the macroscopic scale. We examined a single strain (Paenibacillus dendritiformis T morphotype) to determine both the macroscopic growth of colonies and the microscopic bacterial motion within the colonies. Our multiscale measurements for a variety of growth conditions revealed that motion on the microscopic scale and colonial growth are largely independent. Instead, the growth of the colony is strongly affected by the availability of a surfactant that reduces surface tension.