Re: bees absconded!
Did you direct release the queens? I had a customer this year who called because one of his packs absconded and he wanted to know if he could buy a replacement. He left the queen caged and all that was left in the hive was a handful of bees and the queen in her cage.
The next day he called back to inform me that the absconding bees had returned to the queen in the hive and all looked well.
One simple step saved him 90 bucks.
Good Judgement comes from Experience. Experience comes from Poor Judgement.