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Discussion Starter #1
4 days ago I took a queen from a swarm I caught and introduced her (marked her/put her in a queen cage) into a queenless hive (I did a good check for new queen cells/any virgin queens prior to leaving her). I just went out to check and saw that she was out of the cage. I should have just stopped there and not fussed but I wanted some confirmation so I did a quick inspection of both deeps. Tough because the hive is packed w bees but I didn't see her. And I had placed a nice bright blue mark on her.

Most likely I simply missed her. Or, I suppose they could have killed her/or she died. Maybe I missed a virgin queen but I don't think I did on 2 inspections.

questions:
1) I thought swarm queens were usually the old mated queens.. however could the swarm queen have been virgin and she's out on mating flight?
2) Are caught swarm queens more likely to just re-swarm? Could she just have split when she was released from the cage?
3) now that they're backfilling the brood chambers with nectar should I put new undrawn foundation in or leave them to re-arrange stuff when they're again queenright?

thanks
 

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Congrats on catching a swarm! To answer your questions:
1) Yes a swarm can have a virgin queen, this is called an after swarm and is usually a low quality, low population swarm that happens after a colony that swarms produces a new queen, and then immediately swarms again once the new virgin queen has hatched. This can happen if there is a major nectar flow going on or if you heavily feed a queenless colony that is raising a new queen.

2) Swarms can re-swarm but it is rare, though it is more likely that they will abscond from a spot that they don't like. This can happen if you re-home a swarm too soon after you caught it. Always wait at least 2 weeks before moving a caught swarm.

3) if you had any drawn comb, they would take to that better. You can try and give them some foundation, but unlessa major nectar flow is on, they probably won't do too much drawing. That being said, they are a swarm, so they could also be in maximum wax production mode.

Are you seeing any eggs in the hive? If not, then she is either still mating or she is gone. Do you have any other hives you can take some eggs from?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
so to clarify-- I caught the swarm and needed the queen for a bustling bee filled but recently queenless hive (doesn't seem like they swarmed, just no queen, only capped brood). So I introduced her and put the rest of the swarm as a newspaper combine on another weaker hive (with brood etc so they're sticking around).


hopefully I just missed her
thanks for the response
 
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