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I have 3 hives. Two were started from splits this Spring, and one is a captured swarm.

Behind one of the hives that came from the splits there is a group of about 20 or so workers surrounding a queen. They are on the back of one of the blocks that holds up the hive on the side opposite the entrance. The hive has one deep box and a medium that are full, and an empty shallow super on top.

Any ideas on what is going on?
 

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I've seen something similar a few years back. I believe what I saw was a queen that was either returning after mating or relaxing after mating. After about an 30 or so minutes she flew off. You could have something similar happening. Let us know what happens with her.
 

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sometimes returning virgins behave as though they can smell the hive, but are unable to find the entrance. i just dump'em in the top. good luck,mike
 

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sometimes returning virgins behave as though they can smell the hive, but are unable to find the entrance. i just dump'em in the top. good luck,mike
That's what I ended up doing. I checked the bees just a few minutes ago, and there were about 1/2 as many workers with the queen. I noticed that occasionally workers would go from the queen to the hive and then back. So evidently the queen came from that hive. I picked the queen up and set her on the entrance. The queen went in like a shot and I watched and there was no sign that the hive was going to reject her.

So I guess either the bees superseded the original queen, or something happened to her. This is one of two hives that I started from splits that I purchased locally this Spring. Both had new queens and the other is an extremely strong hive. The hive with the queen on the outside has been doing okay, but it seems to always be about a week or so behind the other hive in drawing out comb and putting up honey. It also seems to have about 25% fewer bees in it.
 

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Oh, and here are a couple of photos of the bees. The first shows the little group around the queen, and the second shows the queen herself.



 
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