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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I noticed a cluster of bees under one of my two hives. They were massed under the screened bottom board. I opened that hive to check out what may be happening in it and found nothing unusual. Between indirect smoke from the hive inspection and a couple of puffs of smoke directed at the mass of bees they marched over to the other hive and positioned themselves under that hive's screened bottom board.

The hive on the right - where the bees are currently located - is a recombined failed split. When I inspected it yesterday I saw a queen cell that had hatched.

Due to robbing (almost certainly by the adjacent healthy hive) a week ago I added a robber screen to the queenless hive.

Is it possible that my virgin queen made it past the robber screen to go mate but was unable to figure out how to get back into the hive on her return? Could my mated queen be at the center of the cluster bees? If so, how do I get her inside my hive?

I put a 5-frame nuc between the two hives yesterday hoping to entice the bees to move into it. Inside the nuc I placed a half drawn-out open frame and four empty frames sprayed with Honey B Healthy. This attracted a lot of attention initially but this morning the nuc only had 4 or 5 bees inside milling around.

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Nice try but they didn't take the bait. I think I would remove all of the boxes and give the bottom board a good slam on an empty box to dislodge them and see what you got. Maybe even use a queen excluder between two boxes and then smoke them. J
 

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Thanks. I did that. A lot of bees are in the box but many are not. I hope the queen ended up in the hive. Time will tell.
 
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