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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone experienced a swarm with no queen? I removed a queen from a small hive that was a swarm I caught a few days before. I know I should have waited but I have a purchased queen that has been banked and I wanted to get her in a hive. I came in,had a drink and went back outside and there was a swarm flying at the top of a tree. I went back in and got a box and the old queen thinking I could lure them in. When I went back,the swarm was gone but there was some unusual "frenzied" activity back at that hive.
Today I re squeezed the hive and it looks like the same amount of bees. So either it wasn't that hive or they returned. So, is it possible they attempted to swarm without their queen? Perhaps with a virgin queen? Practice swarm? They were not happy when I removed their queen. Never heard such a small hive roar like that. J
 

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I think I had one this year. I bring swarms home and let them sit for about a week before opening. With this one in particular I noticed the number of bees coming and going dwindling. When I opened it after the week, maybe 10 days because of my schedule, there was no brood, eggs, or a queen to be found.

They were bringing in pollen and nectar. Rather than wait for more problems I did a screen combine with another swarm I caught. That hive is now the best looking one out of this year's swarm catches. I am guessing that the original swarmed with a virgin and she got eaten, never making it back after her mating flights.
 

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Has anyone experienced a swarm with no queen?
A swarm without a queen is oxymoron by definition.
There is no such thing as a swarm without a queen.

It maybe a virgin.
It may get lost or damaged in all kinds of ways in the process of swarm capture.
But there must be a queen present for the swarm to form originally.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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My only trapped swarm for this year failed to have it's virgin queen return from her mating flight. Got concerned when I failed to see pollen coming in by the second week. Darn birds. Anyhow, I posted about this earlier. I removed the LW brood and gave them a a frame of worker brood with a ripe qc on it. That queen emerged and got mated. The hive is doing very well at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess the only possibility is that when I caught the swarm it had both a mated queen and a virgin and when I removed the mated queen the virgin queen led a swarm or a "practice swarm" since they then returned back to the hive. When I re-queened not re squeezed (auto correct) they seemed happy to smell a new queen ,but now I am worried that I have a virgin in there. J
 
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