I have a question about what I think is odd behaviour for a swarm.
A few weeks ago I did some quick splits, trying to get the splits in (to limit swarming) before 2 weeks of work travel. Long story short, because I was rushing I moved too many queen cells to the splits, so while the old hives were fine, the splits both swarmed. Of course, I was travelling at the time, so swarm capture fell onto the shoulders of my ever patient wife, who caught both of the large swarms that formed.
The odd thing was that there was a small ball of bees, sitting beneath one of the hives that swarmed. We assumed at first that it was a small part of one of the swarms that got lost when my wife moved the bulk of their swarm into a trap. But the hives swarmed on Tuesday, and the ball of bees was still there on Sunday (when I finally returned home). On Sunday I began moving these bees to a new box, and lo-and-behold, it was a mini-swarm complete with a queen! She is now caged in the box, in the hopes that they will establish a colony. Its a small swarm - two softball's in size or so - but I'm hoping it thrives.
Anyway's, my questions. During the 5-6 days where this swarm sat beneath a hive, the did literally nothing. No comb was drawn (aside from a little speckling of wax like most swarms leave behind), and while bees constantly moved in and out of the cluster, there was no movement of the swarm from where they settled, nor that I could see, any pollen being brought back. Yesterday, when I moved them to a box, the bees seemed healthy and vigorous, so I don't think they're ill...so my questions are:
1) Is it normal for a swarm to just sit around and do "nothing" for nearly a week? and
2) Is there any concerns/risks associated with this swarm that I should be aware of?
I'll be checking them later tonight to see how they are doing, and I'm planning on releasing the queen tomorrow (Tuesday), but I have no other details at this time.