I went to check the hive today and found no guards at the entrance. I knocked on the hive and got a bit of a buz but still no guards even when I rattled the entrance reducer. A hornet then flew straight up the the entrance and would have gone straight in if I hadn't batted it away. Thinking the guards had been killed I closed off the entrance and watched the hive for a time. No girls were returning to the hive and a couple of hornets were showing interest. I made up some syrup and filled the top feeder. (it's still 30 degC here and not rained since april). I left the hive for half an hour and checked the site to find out what to do. As a trap I put some cat food in a bucket with a couple of inches of water and the hornets love this but don't drown in it. I checked the hive again and the girls sounded pretty angry so I opened the entrance to the smallest opening and ran to the house as the girls exploded out of the hive. I gave them 10 minutes before going back and found a lot of activity like the training flights we get late afternoon. A few hornets were in this and I saw one bee being taken. I managed to net three hornets and despatch them (kiddies fishing net). and soon it was just the bees and they were calming down a lot. I've now got the entrance on the smallest opening (about 1.5 in). If the guards have been taken, how long before they are replaced and how do I get the hornets to drown in the bucket? I haven't got a prayer finding the hornets nest as the land at the side of us is like jungle.