We have only been beekeepers for 1 year. We have 2 Langstroth hives that are doing poorly and I am sure it is something we are doing or not doing but I don't know what that is. As I was gardening this morning I heard a commotion from one of the hives and looked up to see this mass exodus of bees flying out of the hive. I knew immediately what was going on and watched them gather on a limb of a nearby oak. They are waaay to high to collect so we have set up a swarm trap to try and coax them into the box.
The problem is, in our ignorance, we had thought this hive had been doing pretty well. There were lots of bees in the bottom box and we had added another box early spring. The queen has been laying really well, lots of capped brood. I don't understand why they may have swarmed because when I popped the lid off this morning there was nothing in the box we had added. They had not even started drawing it out. They should have had plenty of room? I don't understand why they swarmed? and Why didn't they move up into the top box? What could we have done to prevent it if anything?
If we catch the swarm do we start a new hive or (may be a silly question) can we put them back if we get rid of one of the queens? Or is that a ridiculous idea?
I will consider any and all advice. Thanks for reading.