I hate it when they fly off!
I have a small cut-out I did from a plastic bucket about a month ago. I had high hopes for them, mostly for use to requeen a different hive using them as a nuc. I got them set-up and gave them a queen. Two days after they let her out - off they went! Made off with my good queen. Little rascals. Feels kind of like having your virgin daughter run off with the Hell's Angels. :(
It would be nice if there was a way to predict this sort of thing. Second time I have had a hive of ferals abscond this year - on the same hive stand even. Must be something about that spot.
Re: I hate it when they fly off!
Paul, sorry for your loss, I had a swarm abscond on me this spring with my new marked queen and I think it was from using pressure treated wood as spacers under a deep box ( I was running short on bottom boards ), I caught the swarm again by throwing a short piece of wood through the middle of the swarm as it was leaving and they came down in my peach tree. I got rid of the treated wood, rehived them and they stayed put this time. They are peculiar little buggers sometimes.