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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this site so apologies if this is in the wrong thread or something....but I have something I just CAN'T figure out.

I have had bees for a few years, they did okay, had some losses, it's not something I'm unfamiliar with. Last year, I had a colony of russians, They didn't make it through winter, and my hive has been empty since about January.

Well today, I saw maybe 10 bees on the hive, around the door, I figured they were robbing. But they didn't leave? It looks like they set up shop, about 5 bees stayed the night. I went around 10pm and opened the hive to check on them, and they are just staying in the hive.

Now, I'm by no means an advanced beekeeper. Is this just robbing behavior I'm not familiar with? Or could it be scouts? I didn't think scouts or robbers stayed at the new/empty hive, especially not overnight? I did leave the old brood comb and honey in the hive....I was going to take it out but I read it might attract a new swarm. Very little chance of larger predators so I just left it there since both hives died and I couldn't get any bees this year to start over.

Does anyone know what these little ladies are doing
 

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If they can't make it back to the hive that day, they can set up camp for the night elsewhere so long as there is food and warmth. Unless there is a queen in there, they will probably leave.
 

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[QUOTE="MagnoliaKnollFarm, post: 1865926, "Does anyone know what these little ladies are doing?[/QUOTE]
Most likely robbing, but could be scouting as suggested. If I were you, I would clean up the bottom board and any dead cluster of bees in frames and set it up as a one deep swarm trap. A few frames of drawn comb, a few foundation less frames, or whatever you have to fill the box (minus full honey frames). You may have bees after all this season. I mouse guard would also be beneficial, as to not miss up your potential plan 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm going to go get a picture. I'm just not sure what's going on. I went to clean it out this morning as suggested by fieldsofnaturalhoney, but it's chock full of bees....

I think it's a swarm? I don't know, I'll post the pic and see what you guys think
 

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Sounds a lot like scout bees. Once they find a good location they may send some troops in to defend it from other scouts.

If they are scouts it's very important not to disturb them. If you're opening it up and causing interruptions around the hive they'll likely abandon it as a possible new home.

Fingers crossed!
 

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Looks like you caught a swarm to me!

Leave them be for a few weeks then inspect them.

Guessing you had drawn comb in there from your old hive, they should build up very quickly!

Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh that's fantastic!!!! Yes they have pretty much a whole hive worth of comb in there to use. That's such amazing news, I wasn't able to order bees, everywhere was sold out that I could find so I figured I wouldn't have any this year! What a great little gift from mother nature ❤!

Thank you all for the help!!
 
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