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Turns out the best location of all my swarms traps is my front porch in suburban houston. Go figure. I have caught a swarm the last 3 weeks

This last one was tiny. Like maybe 500 bees. After 48 hours, I inspected the bees and couldn’t find a queen. And the bees were acting like the queen was out of the hive - bees with butts in air wafting pheromones. I mean sure she could be a good hider but dang. There are only 500 bees. And no eggs.

My hypothesis

1.Swarm had a virgin queen who was on a mating run when Idid the inspection.

2. Its not really swarm but the left overs from a swarm and they decided my trap was a good place to hangout until they die

3. queen died - I looked all over and see no dead bees inside or outside

4. she’s an expert hider and I just missed her —But again no eggs.

what else?
 

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I was called to catch a swarm on the canopy of a gas station a few years ago. When I got there it was a small cluster and after catching them no queen. I asked the manager of the station where he thought they had come from and he told me a truck load of bees had come in and fueled up. So I assumed these bees were stragglers from the truck. I took them home and shook them out in front of one of my hives.
 

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Sometimes a real swarm will leave without a queen. Some people put queen excluders over the entrance and they will still attempt to swarm but the queen can't leave. Eventually, they just kind of give up on her and leave anyway. I'm not sure why since there is zero chance of that swarm surviving, but bees sometimes make bad choices just like us beekeepers!
 
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