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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the third time I have witnessed what appears to be a small swarm entering my established hives. I have not heard of this happening to anyone else so I'm trying to find out whats going on. they have been between softball to cantaloupe size and appear to enter the hive without struggle. They explore all openings of the hive as I would expect from robbers or a foreign swarm. but than 10 min later it is business as usual at the entrance. My queens is marked and to my surprise every time this has happened the next day when I make an inspection the same queen is there. I thought i understood robbing and swarming but this does not seem to be either. Any idea whats going on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Given your location, sounds like Usurpation by AHB.
had to google usurpation to find out what it means. when this happens do the AHBs usually bring a queen in the swarm? I ask because this has happened before and i expected to my marked queen to be dead or replaced but she is still there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ski's...Do you know what orientation flights look like? Does it happen around the same time every day? Are the bees noisy, or quiet?
I thought that orientation flights are mostly hovering near the entrance and flying in circles around the hive. In my situation the bees arrive in a dense cloud.
 

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had to google usurpation to find out what it means. when this happens do the AHBs usually bring a queen in the swarm? I ask because this has happened before and i expected to my marked queen to be dead or replaced but she is still there.
A valid point. Dunno. Yes, AHB brings their own monarch.
 

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Doesn't usurpation take a week or two to complete?
 

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Never seen what you seem to be experiencing, I have on two occasions watched a large swarm take over a hive, in one case I had just made a split the day before and they took over the queenless one, the other time they took over a queenless hive that would not accept a queen cell because it had developed laying workers, it became one of my best hives. They were not AFB. I don't have a clue to your situation, I hope someone will clue us in.
 

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Is there any chance that the hive started to swarm, but the queen did not go out? Then, the bees returned to their hive? Or did the small swarms come from elsewhere?
 

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I have had this happen several times in my yard. For example, last fall A small nuc left their box and took over a stronger nuc. I third to capture the invading queen as I was working the yard when it happened. She flew away and I thought ok she won't come back. We'll I was wrong. Found the resident queen dead at the entrance. It over wintered well and is now a strong hive
 
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