caught small swarm, queen missing?
2nd year beekeeper, I caught one swarm last year (my own) and I finally got to catch a swarm that did not belong to me!
Last week, July 6th, I got a call about a swarm. I arrived about 6pm. It was a little bigger than a grapefruit about 2' off the ground in a lilac bush. I cut out a few small branches and shook the swarm into a 5 frame nuc, and replaced the frames. I let the nuc there until dark, came back and took it home. Next day I placed the frames into an empty 10 frame deep and gave them a hive top feeder filled with sugar water.
Today, 8 days later, I inpected and they have about 1 frame drawn out, no eggs, and I did not see a queen. This swarm is pretty small, they cover a little more than 1 frame.
The homeowner told me that the sky was black with bees above there swimming pool about 11AM, the bees settled on the lilac bush and they called me about 5pm. Considering how small the swarm was I collected, I wonder if the swarm left with the queen and I just collected the remaining bees hanging around on the branch? But when I shook them into that nuc, the "strays" that I scooped up with my hand and I placed infront of the nuc entrance, marched right in. I would have thought I had the queen. It's possible that I killed her when I moved the frames from the nuc to the deep.
At this time of year should I give up on this little swarm and just combine them with a weaker hive or give them a little more time? Maybe give them a frame of eggs from another hive? Its always possible that I missed the queen when looking for her but should she laying again by now if she's in there? And, I am in Wisconsin so my summer is short.
I dont want to end up with a laying worker.
Advice/suggestions are appreicated.
Re: caught small swarm, queen missing?
I think I would combine and make a hive stronger, I am fixing to do that with a cut out where I did not get the queen. This time of year and with our heat i do not think that they would make it through the winter even if they did make a queen.