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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On Wed one of the hives I started last year must have swarmed as quite close to my hive area there was a huge cloud of bees that settled on a tree branch. Once they settled we cut the branch and hived them along with a frame of open brood in a deep box. I moved them to the hive yard and gave them some sugar syrup.

They seemed content with their new digs.

On Fri there was a small tight cluster of bees on a plastic milk crate in the area the Wed swarm had been. There were also lots of bees flying around the clustered bees. I put a nuc nearby...had no open brood just wax frames...and they marched in and said we are home. By evening the bees were no longer in the air. I moved the nuc into the bee yard and the bees seem to have settled in.

So this morning I go out and more bees are gathering in my daughters yard....she is not impressed that my bees have favoured her yard. I put out another nuc with more undrawn wax foundation.

What is going on here?
 

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The queen scent from the prior swarms is attracting stragglers and/or other swarms. Remove any such items as are practical. The queen scent can be a powerful attractant for days.
 

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And welcome to the extreme swarming year we have been,having so far way down south (FL).
My first double brood hive swarmed 2 days after splitting 3 nucs from. Did another 2.5 frame nuc split day after neighbors Russians swarmed into my yard (day after mine swarmed).

Buddy's 4 deep has created 20 so far this spring. Been crazy. Once its in those ladys heads that they need to redecorate, ain't no stoppin 'em.

If I had drawn comb to work with, would be on 3rd or 4th round of splits. Checking to see if ready for next round in 15 min.

Some people put dead queens in jars to scent swarm traps. Search back thru posts to find many examples of how.

My experiences show about 2 or 3 rains before that smell wears off of tree limb etc. You can set a nuc up near it with a tad of honey or sugar syrup (2/1) on undrawn frames that are wax coated for very good results.

Have you rechecked your hives?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The bees that have gone into the nucs in that area are not leaving to go back to their original hives. Will they be Queenless? Should I look for some early open eggs/brood and put that in with them or just leave them to do their thing?

Should I keep putting out a nuc for them to occupy?

I have not been back into the hives but most have good front porch activity.

One had been weak for ages so I moved it onto the stand of a strong hive and just put the strong hive beside it. Both now seem active. I will check back in a bit to see if I need another brood box on the original weak hive.

One double deep seems a bit slow on the porch but there are plenty of bees in both boxes and capped worker brood. Other established hives are very active and new hives are getting established. Some may need attention if virgins don't get back as mated Queens. Seems that is a waiting game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The queen scent from the prior swarms is attracting stragglers and/or other swarms. Remove any such items as are practical. The queen scent can be a powerful attractant for days.
I don't mind if it is attracting more swarms that would go elsewhere otherwise. I don't want a bunch of field bees that chose to change address and have no means of expanding to fill it:)
 

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Very likely if the settled into a box they have a queen even if she's a virgin.

Swarms re-orient when they find a new home, they will not drift back to their old home. One good indication they are going to stay in their new home (your hive) is when they orient on the new hive with a row of bees fanning Nasonov pheremone to attract stragglers. If they don't orient properly, likely they will move on.

Peter
 

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I will generally give a swarm 1 frame of brood, 2 if I can. Keeping in mind they should already have a mated queen, they still won't hatch any brood for a month or so. They need to build comb and go through a full egg/larvae/capped brood cycle of their own. Anything you can do to fortify them will only increase their odds of sucess.
 

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My guess is you have been catching after swarms with virgins in the nuc boxes. Even with virgin queens they can build up into full size colonies pretty fast. I've been amazed how fast swarms build up, even relatively small swarms.
 

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I'm with Johng on the after swarms. Give the nucs time for the queens to get mated and they should take off well at this time of year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update:

So far the first large swarm seems to like their home.
The tiny group that was on a low branch the following day are acting like a normal little hive.
The bees that were on the crate and went into the nuc were pretty much gone the following day..there were very few of them. A handful flew around and went in that nuc today. I will be curious if they are gone tomorrow.

It is quite exciting seeing and hiving ones first swarm...even if they are likely your own bees.

When I got my first nucs and packages hived, extracted my first honey and over wintered my first hives I gave a sigh of relief. Little did I know that my second season would be an even steeper learning curve than the first.
 
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