The swarm i captured from the broken tree limb, up and left a couple of weeks ago. I didn't use the queen excluder to keep her in. I read that it's only good for cooling baked bread. The speaker box hive swarmed last week. i put them back in hive box this past friday, using a carboard box. I used my front end loader on my tractor to raise box under hive. went to check on them today, and they were gone. I have gone after 5-swarms this summer, hived three of those colonies, and combined a couple, and had 1-colony given to me in april, which is still going strong. last week, i was feeling confident, today i'm just wondering. Maybe just ought to buy some strong hives. Is this a good time to buy strong hives from retireing beekeepers to go through the winter?