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Discussion Starter #1
Slightly confused this morning. I walked past the hives yesterday only to hear a loud humming coming from overhead. Looked up and saw what looked like thousands of bees, near some trees. I was convinced I had a swarm from one of the hives but I realized they weren't landing anywhere. Sure enough 20-30 mins later they started returning to one of the hives, so I assume it was a mating flight. Never seen one before, very impressive.

Here is why I am confused. The hive they came out of was itself caught as a swarm about 5-6 weeks ago. i.e. one of my hives swarmed and I caught and boxed it. That caught swarm is the hive that produced the mating flight.

What gives?

Did the queen that swarmed get booted out and replaced?!

Is this usual after a swarm has been caught?

Thanks,
Paul
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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That was probably a false swarm, aka, test flight. They will probably swarm for real very soon. I have had one of my caught swarms itself swarm already. Try finding the queen and splitting the hive now. Bet there is a qc in there somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
groan...another potential swarm.

Many thanks, so effectively place the queen and half the bees in a new box with room and install a new queen in the existing hive (removing queen cells)?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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A lot depends on how strong the old hive has become, and whether they have actually made swarm cells. I am a fan of allowing the bees to produce a queen on their own so removing swarm cells to install a mated queen is not what I would do. But if you have 8 or more frames of bees, and there are started swarm cells, yeah, split them in half but destroy any cells on the frames you move with the queen, leaving at least two in the old hive. I just did the same thing last week and sold the nuc with the "old" queen.
 
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