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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When we got back from church, there was a cloud of bees in my front yard. My hives are all out back.

We assumed swarm and watched to see where they went. They went back to the front of a hive. They were bearded all over the front of that hive. In the course of thirty minutes most had gone into the hive.

This was not the normal orientation flight that I had seen. This was a cloud that was on the other side of my house. Do swarms sometimes return to their hive, before finally departing for good?

This hive's queen was a clipped queen purchased a year ago. I know she was still alive last fall. Was this a swarm and they returned because the queen could not fly? Or do orientation flights sometimes look like the swarm cloud and range out?

Will a flightless queen start walking with her swarm?

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I do have one of the queen excluders that sits in front of the hive entrance. Should I put that on?
 

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what is the strength of your hive? have you been inside it in the last week? How are your other hives acting?

from what you have said, I would hazard to guess it was a swarm, and when the old queen couldn't join them they went back to wait for a new queen to hatch.

if the hive has queen cells in it, I would do a big split. remove the old queen and a bunch of the bees 60% or so. place them in a new hive body, with as few eggs as you can get them with. Close them up and relocate them for 2 days before you release them. and hope for the best. you might be able to fool them into thinking they swarmed. otherwise they are likely to swarm in the next couple days.

but that is only MHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, much.

The hive is real strong, so I am not surprised. I haven't been completely through the box since early this spring.

I could perhaps split them this weekend, but not before. I do have a lemon-grass oil bated swarm box on the ground, now, two feet in front of the hive. I have two other swarm boxes in elevated positions.

Two other hives are strong, too, but not much going on in the honey supers that I have on each.
 
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