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Caught our third swarm in 3 weeks this past Saturday. The first was a big and it's doing well now, Queen is doing her thing. The second was much smaller and we didn't find the Queen. They absconded within 36 hours so I thought maybe it was an after swarm since they were out on the edge of a pasture nowhere near any known hives. I don't have any traps made up so put them in a deep with 5 frames of drawn comb and left the entrance open except for an entrance feeder. Same as we did the first swarm that is now doing great.

This past Saturday, our friend who have a wild swarm that took up residence last summer in an empty hive body appears to have swarmed give this third one was maybe 10 yards away on a bush. They were an easy catch given it was pretty cool so they weren't moving at all. Clipped the branch and put them in a box, a few flew but most just moved to a frame and chilled. Anyway, this was small swarm as well, and I watched it for awhile after they were in the box but never saw a queen so I closed them up, moved to my house and got them set up. This time I filled the empty slots with foundation and gave them 5 drawn comb one of which had honey on it.. No extra brood to give them. I also reduced the entrance to small entrance on an entrance reducer, figuring if that might help encourage them to stay.

So it's been 4 days and unlike the last small one there is still decent activity and they are eating the sugar water. I'm wondering when/if I should go in it to see if a queen is in it? Should I treat it like a typical swarm catch and check it this weekend or since I didn't see a queen should I treat it as if it was queenless and leave it for a couple weeks and just monitor activity?

What are your thoughts? Thanks

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If you scratch the caps on that honey frame you gave them, they will eat that and you don't have to give them sugar, especially if they are foraging. I would think you could do an inspection and if there are eggs or larva you don't need to find a queen. But, my eyes are old, so I would give them a whole week so I could look for larva (which I **can** see) as opposed to eggs, or a queen which I can **NEVER** see. :) Also, watch the front porch/landing board and see if they are bringing in resources. If they are bringing in pollen it is likely they want to feed larva. At this point, if they are in there 4 days and *don't* have a queen... they should be pretty hot. They would have no eggs or larva to work with to make a queen, so there's that. If they actually had a virgin queen (less likely, though possible), she may have gone down to the corner to get a pack of smokes :) Or out on a mating flight, in which case you may notice a big influx of bees once she gets back. So if the population goes up, you just might have a queen. If they are calm, you just might have a queen. If you see eggs/larva, you just might have a queen. You never really have to see a queen, just proof that she's there.
 

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Caught our third swarm in 3 weeks this past Saturday. The first was a big and it's doing well now, Queen is doing her thing. The second was much smaller and we didn't find the Queen. They absconded within 36 hours so I thought maybe it was an after swarm since they were out on the edge of a pasture nowhere near any known hives. I don't have any traps made up so put them in a deep with 5 frames of drawn comb and left the entrance open except for an entrance feeder. Same as we did the first swarm that is now doing great.

This past Saturday, our friend who have a wild swarm that took up residence last summer in an empty hive body appears to have swarmed give this third one was maybe 10 yards away on a bush. They were an easy catch given it was pretty cool so they weren't moving at all. Clipped the branch and put them in a box, a few flew but most just moved to a frame and chilled. Anyway, this was small swarm as well, and I watched it for awhile after they were in the box but never saw a queen so I closed them up, moved to my house and got them set up. This time I filled the empty slots with foundation and gave them 5 drawn comb one of which had honey on it.. No extra brood to give them. I also reduced the entrance to small entrance on an entrance reducer, figuring if that might help encourage them to stay.

So it's been 4 days and unlike the last small one there is still decent activity and they are eating the sugar water. I'm wondering when/if I should go in it to see if a queen is in it? Should I treat it like a typical swarm catch and check it this weekend or since I didn't see a queen should I treat it as if it was queenless and leave it for a couple weeks and just monitor activity?

What are your thoughts? Thanks

Added a couple photos:
View attachment 55583
View attachment 55585
Rusty,
the little ones are likely after swarms, and have a virgin. to mate and start laying could be 8-10 days or more.
Let them chill at least a week, then you can check them.
I do not hive swarm in a screen bottom, they at times perceive the open area as to hard to defend and leave.
can also combine 2 or 3 little ones unless you want the hive count. if in 15 days no eggs then I would combine with a queen rite hive.
GG
 
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