Curious behavior of Swarms/Absconding bees
Yesterday I was loading ripe cells into California mini cages and placing them into what I call a queenless incubator nuc. When, a "swarm" arrived and promptly began clustering just below the incubator nuc's entrance (which is located on top of the nuc at one end). This "swarm" had what looked like a virgin, and she was Cordovan. Also, a few of the bees in the swarm were also Cordovan.
I caged the queen, then got the "swarm" bees to cluster on her. Afterwards I put them together into their own nuc box. They're still in there, and seem to be settling in.
This morning I believe I located where this "swarm" originated. One of my hives which was populated by a Cordovan virgin and bees that resembled those in the "swarm", was empty, except for about a dozen newly emerged workers covering a palm-sized patch of sealed worker brood. I believe this hive absconded, and became the swarm that I observed and installed in a nuc. At least the bees are still here, they could have departed, but instead moved from one part of my apiary to another.
47 years - 50 hives - TF
Joseph Clemens -- Website