I had a small colony I "rescued" from a water meter at a co-worker’s home 2+weeks ago, her husband was going to destroy them so I went to get them. I took 2 frames worth of brand new comb they’d built that also had capped brood and larvae. I thought I got the queen because after gently scooping bees in after framing comb from meter box (in-ground) they were going into hive on their own. I brought them home and left them for 10 days before going in to the box to see what was going on. I found almost all brood hatched out, no larvae, and all that was left was 4 supercedure queen cells.
I knew it would be no less than 4 weeks before new bees would be hatching. Last Friday I put another box on top, newspaper barrier and top box had 2 frames of brood comb and a med super honey frame full of honey but only 25% capped, taken from a strong hive.
On Sunday morning as I was leaving for church, the bees were leaving, swarming into a bundle in a nearby tree. I had to decide--stop and recapture, or hope they stayed til I got home less than 2 hrs later. They didn't stay. Gone. They didn’t appear to fill up from the honey frame before they left. About half or more of the nurse bees remained with the brood comb I’d just added. I took that box back out to my apiary yesterday and wanted to put frames back in original hives but it was drizzling with the threat of downpour. They are there as I left them.
Also yesterday I set up a nuk with their comb and sprayed with sugar water and lemongrass oil and set it on a ladder at the spot where they swarmed to and bundled. This morning I noticed a decent amount of bees checking it out, then they were gone. Couple hrs later, more bees checking it out. I ran some errands and then came home to a backyard sky full of bees and going into the nuk. Took maybe 15 min to go in and then I gave them sugar water. They were gone for 48 hrs, if these are that just left.
Now what do I do, in particular with those frames I pulled on Friday? Can I add these into that box? “Increase Essentials” says I can add them in. Do I do it right away or with that make them take off again? If I combine with those brood frames/nurse bees, which by the way one of the frames has a capped swarm queen cell, to add to the fun. The nuk has 3 frame right now of drawn empty comb, some their own assuming this is the same bees from the meter. Do I use newspaper method and later combine frames into one box? It is the end of September, though I am in SW Fla.