2nd Swarm in 2 weeks from the Same Hive
My hive that I started with the help of my brother, SteveBee, on March 21st has swarmed twice in the past two weeks. The first time, they left tons of brood and some capped queen cells. The hive built back up very quickly and appeared to have built up their numbers back to about what they were. Then they swarmed again yesterday. This time they left a lot of drones and drone cells, only one capped queen cell that I could see today (I had to look fast, because my bees have been ill-tempered lately and today was no exception!) I didn't see any larvae and no eggs, though it's difficult for me to see eggs, so I might have missed some of them. There are some capped brood cells on each comb, but not many.
I know they are not overcrowded. They have about 12 complete combs and 3 partials, so the hive is only about half full. I moved the follower all the way to the end a few days ago to allow more ventilation since the weather has been in the high 90's. About a week ago, at my urging, my husband put some ventilation holes, covered with screen in one of the bars.
I don't think they have too much room, because the first time they swarmed the follower was a lot closer to the combs than it is now--about 4 empty bars between it and the last comb.
I stopped feeding them about 3 weeks ago because they weren't drinking much. But out weather has been very hot and dry and our hay fields were brown before they were cut. Maybe I should be feeding them again.
They have seemed to be really tempermental for the past few weeks, chasing me doggedly every time I try to check the hive, which I do about once a week.
The good news is that I was able to catch the swarm yesterday (the first swarm got away from me while I was gathering up my stuff to catch them) and trade them to my brother for a second hive.
Any feedback or suggestion would be appreciated.