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Discussion Starter #1
2 weeks ago I made two walk away splits from my hives, with each using two frames-- one of capped brood, and one freshly laid tray of eggs. All nurse bees on the frames were transferred with them.

I told my friend 2 weeks ago Wednesday that we *had* get back in to the mother hives 14 days from then to check for swarm cells. But we had things come up.

So on Wednesday, at 5, we got together to go through the last hive that hadn't been checked since then. Sure enough, about 80 feet up in a pine near the yard, I saw the ominous black ball. They seemed to really be checking out a 10 frame hive we inherited that we haven't kept anyone in due to being unsure about the hygeine of the last bees kept in it, and we also set up and used Bee Charm on another hive back where the parent colony spent the winter. Scout bees looked in on these two places very carefully.

But at 11 this morning, they alighted without wind or rain and spent some time in the air, and seemed to be moving, and the clump seemed to be getting smaller. They weren't moving to the empty bait hives, though.

It was to one of the 2 week splits-- the one which had failed to develop a queen in the eggs we had given them. On Wednesday, we had given them queen cells from the hive that had just swarmed.

I watched completely mystified as they slowly, over the next few hours, moved into the single entrance, one box hive, with very little buildup on the hive itself. However, they are still packed full on the robbing screen I had protecting the split.

I'm aware this has been discussed at least one time before ( http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?319253-swarm-taking-up-with-queenless-hive ) and opinions varied.

So what are our experiences with swarms taking up with queenless hives? We are not in AFB territory in any way-- zone 6, Appalachian mountains, and the hive was confirmed queenless. They had even failed to make a queen cell out of eggs. All of the bees come from one original queen- all of our queens are related. Do you think they communicated to the swarm in some way that they were queenless and to move right in? o_O I saw no fighting.
 

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I watched a small swarm land on a tree trunk about 10 feet from a (hopelessly) queenless mating NUC. Next day, the bees were gone from the tree trunk and the NUC was full of bees, including a laying queen. I think the swarm moved in. :)
 

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My daughter caught a swarm last Monday after noon in a cardboard nuc and brought it home and placed it on the hive stand were I asked her to.
When I got home from work about 3 hours later I set up to move it in to a 10 deep hive as she said the box was full.
When I opened it there were only about 50 bees in the nuc.

I had a double nuc beside were I was setting up the swarm that was Queen less the day before.
I was going to add a frame of open brood so they could start Queen cells.
It looked like a lot of extra traffic for what was in it the day before.
When I opened it it was packed FULL of bees.
I will be moving them to a 10 frame box this Monday if it's not RAINING again?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks both of you all for replying!

I got into the hive in question today and compared it with the other splits I've made-- including the one made on the same day.

The swarm DEFINITELY moved in with the queenless hive. All 8 frames are busting with bees. The others-- 2-3 frames. The old queen is in there with them. Amazing!

I can only imagine how they communicate with the swarm and how all of that worked. So great to have my bees back and my original 4 year old queen. <3
 
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