Re: Not a swarm - but queen won't stay in the hive
Last fall I got a call from a lady that had a small swarm land in her back yard. I was out of town, so I asked her to place a cardboard box out, and put some honey in it for bait. She did, and the bees moved in. I went and recovered them, and moved them in a cardboard box to my yard. My first struggle was that I couldn't get them out of the box and into my TBH. They even started building a little bit of comb in the box. After a day or so I finally got up the nerve to just take there box when the majority of them were out at the feeder. I put the comb in the hive, and the feeder in the hive, and took the box. Then they started clustering on the ground, as mentioned above. Twice I used a flower pot, sprayed with sugar water a bait trap and relocated them to the hive. Both times the ended up back out on the ground.
All this time, I never saw the queen, or eggs in the little bit of comb they built. It is my suspicion that they never had a queen. I'm guessing she was injured in flight and fell to the ground, thus the bees landing in this lady's back yard. Anyway, I had to go out of town the next week and when I returned home the bees were all gone. I really wasn't surprised.
This was my first go at bee having, and it was everything that I expected from what I had read. I noticed a lot of fanning, and elevated aggression. Sounds like a queenless hive to me. Without the queen, the bees don't really have any guidance, and will just go to wherever traces of her scent, or of a familiar hive smell can be found. Thus the clustering in odd locations like the middle of the lawn. Enough bees start fanning there, and they all go there.
One package to 4 hives in 3 months. After 12 months I'm over a dozen hives and growing. Head over heels for bees!!!