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Discussion Starter #1
I had a big swarm move onto a bait box on Thursday (noon); some bees went in and out, but it seemed most of the bees stayed in a big cluster under the box and on the box's limb.

Then today at noon, I saw that the clump was mostly gone and the bees were going into a flying-swarm mode. Apparently didn't like what I offered. They landed up a ligustrum about 12' up and maybe 20' away. I had a helluva time getting the mass (in segments, using clippers, a saw, box, bucket, everything but my hands), mostly, into a deep I placed outside at that time. The bees seemed maybe to go for the new situation (I see lots of 'em doing the phermonone-homing action at the deep's "door").

OK, that said: oddly enough, I'm now seeing lots of activity at the opening of the bait box itself! For whatever reason, I smoked the cluster remnants (the bees I could never capture to move to the deep) on the ligustrum, and then they disappeared. Minutes later, I saw lots of bees shoving their way into the bait box.

Has anybody seen this sort of activity with a swarm? Is it possible the swarm had 2 queens (maybe young, 1 old) that went their separate ways? I may have 2 hives developing from 1 swarm, but it seems strange to me.

Any anecdotes, observations, experiences and/or theories to relate would be welcomed ....

Mitch
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Most likely two virgin queens in the original swarm. When I checked on the swarm I caught last Saturday, they had divided into two distinct clusters in the hive with no bees in between. Fits the two queen theory I had earlier when I thought I had the queen, but then found one in a clump of bees a little later. The hive is much better organized now so I am sure one of them got um, dispatched. You seem to have the same thing going on. Make two nucs, or put them all in the same hive and screen it off for a day or two. Nature will fix the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Most likely two virgin queens in the original swarm. When I checked on the swarm I caught last Saturday, they had divided into two distinct clusters in the hive with no bees in between. Fits the two queen theory I had earlier when I thought I had the queen, but then found one in a clump of bees a little later. The hive is much better organized now so I am sure one of them got um, dispatched. You seem to have the same thing going on. Make two nucs, or put them all in the same hive and screen it off for a day or two. Nature will fix the problem.
OK -- but by "screen off", you mean .... screening it shut for a while (to force a "resolution" between queens)?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Yes, as in "this here hive ain't big enough for the two of us"
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I like the sound of that!

I think I'll try making 2 nucs and see what happens. Since each "swarm" is now fairly small, I'm thinking odds're against them doing much, but ... I'll give 'em a chance.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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If you have two frame equipment, this would be a good time ti use it. You could also give each swarm a shake of nurse bees from your other hives to boost the numbers. Once you separate the clusters, make sure each actually has a queen. Virgins are harder to spot than mated queens and they move a lot faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
sounds like a plan -- either today or Sunday; weather's to be hot, calm and sunny, so that, at least, won't be a concern.

And the bees don't seem concerned at all about Covid-19. I have a feeling they'd be all for it, if they were aware ....
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I checked on the swarm I picked up last Sat. If it was a two queen swarm with a virgin, the mated queen won. Today I saw eggs and just hatched larvae. Right on schedule, three days to commence laying and four for me to see larvae. Bees were put on comb but have already drawn one side of an Acorn plastic frame.
 
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