My friend bought some queens to requeen several hives and to make some splits. I'm usually pretty good at finding queens, but that day we didn't find any. Found plenty of queen signs, just couldn't eyeball the queens. We split one hive, taking 3 frames of brood larvae and capped, 1 honey and 1 pollen frame for a nuc. We shook nurse bees into the nuc, making sure we didn't have the queen. We had bees covering most of the frames. We put a new caged queen in. I took the nuc to my house some 5 miles distant.4 days later, I checked the nuc to see if they had released the queen. They had not, so I released her and the bees made no effort to ball her. She went down into the nuc, so I closed it up and went inside. 3 hours later, I had a large swarm of bees in my yard. I found the nuc empty except for a few bees, with most of them on a nearby gardenia bush. The marked queen was walking around on top of the nuc cover. I put her back in and the bees returned to the nuc around dark. Next morning the bees were acting normal with a good population still in the nuc. The next day they swarmed again, but I did not find the queen. Today they were gone except for a few on the gardenia bush. Wax moths and hive beetles have already settled in.
I'm guessing there were too few bees to cool the hive(104 here all week) and they stressed out and absconded.