I captured a swarm from my hot hive recently and dropped them in a deep box with 10 frames, 2 fully drawn. I opened the box last night, it looks like most of the swarm decided to leave, I did not spot a queen, but they had done something interesting, the two drawn frames are 100% full of honey and they are drawing a 3rd frame.
Question is, if I look again and find on indication of a queen, could I take these wayward souls and drop them into my weakest package I just hived? It's a mess; when I upended the box, the majority of the gooey bees (see This End UP!) came out into the bottom of the Hive. Queen is in great shape though.
When you say hot I am assuming you mean aggressive and not great performers.
If they have filled combs 100% with honey there is a great chance there is no queen. They may have stayed just long enough to get started and then absconded but some bees got left behind, maybe because they left while the foragers were out and because some bees stay with the comb, so when it all returned (since you checked them at night all the bees were home), it looks like you have more bees than you think.
Regardless though, I think if the "hot" queen is gone, and you combine these bees and combs with your weak hive, you have given them a great head start. Within 2 months almost all the hot bees will be gone to be replaced with your queen's bees. Make sure you put the frames of honey to the outside of the nest, you don't want to clog up what would be your brood nest with honey in the middle.
Just make sure they didn't swarm with a virgin queen and then some went back to the old hive. If there is a virgin in this hive they will probably kill your queen in the other hive. You could give them some eggs and young larvae and see what happens first. If there is a queen they won't try to make one. If there isn't there should be a queen cell started in a couple of days. If that's the case, then go ahead and combine.
ha, eggs. yeah right. My two established hives are in transition; both have swarmed, queens are in process in those hives.
I will check the swarm hive out for a virgin queen, if there isn't one present, I will go with Scots suggestion and commbine then, putting the honey to the outside. If I save this abused package, it will be a real stroke of luck.
Yep, by hot I insinuate mean. That hive has been hateful since the day I installed it. I know we preach about honey bees not being aggresive, but I eased up behind this hive day before yesterday to pick up an empty shallow and 2 got tangled in my hair; walked 10 feet away, ANOTHER came at me from behind and stung me on the chin. And to be clear, I was directly behind it, moving slow, got what I needed off the ground and tried to slip away. no go, still got me.
Not mad at the bees, just don't understand why they are so flipping mean.
A contractor that I work with sometimes just called and said that I missed a swarm at his sisters house. They tried to call me and I was out so his sister called someone else.... He said it was about the size of a football. The location was in a neighbor hood with no known beekeepers in that area. The beekeeper that came and captured the swarm told them that it looked like a swarm from a feral colony (I'm assuming the bees were smaller) This probably would have been a great start of small bees.... IF I didn't have bad luck I don't think I would have any luck at all..8-(