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Ok about a week ago I went to go check on a bait box. When I got there, it had a lot of activity. There were about twenty to thirty bees on the outside going in and out. I have been monitoring it, and have seen plenty of bees coming and going. I thought I had a swarm caught. So this morning I thought I would go bring them home. Side note this is my first try at catching a swarm. So when I got there I decided to pop the lid to see what was going on first. There was only about twenty to thirty bees, no comb, and they were real defensive. So is my assumption that this are just scout bees holding down the fort ti they do decide to swarm correct? If so how long does this go on until the swarm does move in, if ever?
 

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Very likely this is what you are seeing. Scouts.

Occasionally you may see a few bees, to a few dozen bees, that were left behind when a swarm came to your box, and for whatever reason did not like the box and moved on.

I have this exact same situation. On Monday there were perhaps 75-100 bees on the landing board. In guard formation, some coming and going. I thought a swarm had moved in and I cracked the top to see if they were on the comb I provided, or making their own comb. Well, only 10 or 15 bees inside. Yesterday I checked again. Same thing. I now believe a swarm came, and decided they did not like it and moved on. These got left behind. But, I am hoping it is the scouts and they will eventually bring the swarm.

Sometimes it is a few days to a week before the swarm moves in. I would just keep checking.

cchoganjr
 

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I've had bees coming and going for up to a week before they finally made up their mind and came to the box. I think sometimes the hive sends out scout bees BEFORE they even swarm so they can get down to business quicker once they do swarm.
 
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