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I have a yard that's nucs all started by my cells.Scold me,I don't mark my queens.I let them build up,move them into 10 frame equip,&when they are ready to add a box to I move them.I left a few over winter.1 was strong ,so I pulled a nuc from it.2 frames of brood,frame of honey/pollen,1drawn,1new.The Q was taken&Ileft the rest to hatch out the capped Q-cells in it.Went in it today &found my new Q EASY with the red dot on her.How'd she get there?It doesn't look like she came with a swarm,the population appeared about the same.
 

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I have had, on one occasion, a queen return to the colony from which I took her. I removed her with a 5 frame nuc and placed the nuc about 6 feet to one side. The next day she had abandoned the nuc and was back in her original colony. She was not clipped but she was marked. There was no question that it was the same queen, so she just flew back to her colony.
 

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I saw a small usurpation swarm attempt last year in my yard. I know another local beekeeper that claims to have witnessed one as well. Wyatt Magum has a whole presentation on usurpation, including a video of it taken in his yard. Not saying that's what happened in your case, but it seems to fit. Or perhaps you've created self-marking queens......better increase your prices.
 
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