Well...I've posted a couple of times this season about my bees behaving very mysteriously by swarming, then returning to their hive. This has happened three times before this posting, then yesterday again. BUT...the one yesterday was from the queenless half of a split I made a few weeks ago. Keeping in mind that there are NO queens to be purchased in my area, when I made the split, I placed in a frame of brood and also another frame of brood that I was sure had eggs. I inspected a week later and there were two nice capped queen cells. I felt they were doing well. A couple more weeks have passed and the bees were acting swarmy for a couple of days...hanging on the entrance, LOTS of bees flying close to entrance...just way, way busier than any of the other colonies. Had it been any other hive, I would have bet on a swarm. But, this one being hopefully newly queened from within, I didn't expect them to take off.
Take off they did, yesterday. It was a very large swarm and they went about 15 yards away to a rose bush (seems to be a favorite plant for all my swarms). As always I was unprepared, even having to take the time to build the frames and insert the foundation. They stayed clustered, so I went ahead and prepared to catch them...having waited a reasonable period of time to allow them to return (as another colony had done 3 times). But, first I went to take a look into the hive they came from to see if perhaps their new queen had mated and was laying eggs and they felt crowded resulting in the swarm. I also hoped to borrow a frame with eggs for the about-to-be caught swarm. Not so...there was no sign of a queen, no eggs, no larvae, no anything...just a tiny bit of capped brood left and thousands upon thousands of bees. I did also note that the previously capped queen cells were gone and there was 1 queen cup.
As I was looking into their hive, the nearby swarm filled the air once again, and returned to the hive....but it's obvious they are ready to go again (we are having rain today and predicted also for tomorrow). They should stay during the rainy time, but come one little ray of sun...I'm sure they are off.
Any opinions/suggestions????? I just can't figure out 1) why these swarms are returning and 2) why a queenless split bailed out then returned.
I really need help!!!!