I have seen this in the past but always assumed it was a mating flight leaving and returning and I may be correct on that guess but I wanted to see if anyone else has ever seen a colony emit a swarm only to have them fly to a nearby tree and then fly back to the original hive and go in. I had it happen yesterday on a eight frame double nuc and was working that same yard this morning on the very hive that "faux swarmed" yesterday and another one of the resource hives did the exact same thing flying to a nearby cedar in the wood line and lighting there (not like a swarm as a cluster but individually). After about five minutes they started flying back to the hive. Plastered the face and marched in like nothing happened.
I went back to the hive where the "faux swarm" occurred and there was a couple supercedure cells in the field of the comb. Same condition on the one that faux swarmed this morning. A couple of supercedure cells in the field of the comb. There were open cells where she could lay and I saw only a few SHBs. Mite counts are well within the acceptable ranges. Is it that they evict the queen when they supercede her? In both occasions the laying was full frame and beyond acceptable. Each of these colonies had a couple of frames of open cells where she could potentially lay. I dont consider them congested with population but it was certainly respectable.
I ended up dividing the frames with the cells amongst two five frame boxes and made up a split. Just wonder if anyone has ever seen this behavior before.