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Today I was working a hive when another in the yard started to swarm. My spouse and I watched them and took some pics while waiting to see where they would go. I was of course hoping for something low! They made a big whirlwind of bees very high. Then slowly got lower...and WENT BACK IN. I have never heard of this. Was that a trial run? Is there something I should do??

I'm puzzled they would swarm as this was a split off a larger hive 3 weeks ago that was trying to swarm. This was the queenless portion. I saw a large, capped queen cell in it last week, and had been leaving it alone in hopes she would get out and get mated. So I assume this is a virgin queen.

Am totally puzzled at what to do next, if anything.
 

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Today I was working a hive when another in the yard started to swarm. My spouse and I watched them and took some pics while waiting to see where they would go. I was of course hoping for something low! They made a big whirlwind of bees very high. Then slowly got lower...and WENT BACK IN. I have never heard of this. Was that a trial run? Is there something I should do??

I'm puzzled they would swarm as this was a split off a larger hive 3 weeks ago that was trying to swarm. This was the queenless portion. I saw a large, capped queen cell in it last week, and had been leaving it alone in hopes she would get out and get mated. So I assume this is a virgin queen.

Am totally puzzled at what to do next, if anything.
I wouldn't really know for sure, but could the queen have taken flight for mating and the hive sent her off, so to speak?
 

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Today I was working a hive when another in the yard started to swarm. My spouse and I watched them and took some pics while waiting to see where they would go. I was of course hoping for something low! They made a big whirlwind of bees very high. Then slowly got lower...and WENT BACK IN. I have never heard of this. Was that a trial run? Is there something I should do??

I'm puzzled they would swarm as this was a split off a larger hive 3 weeks ago that was trying to swarm. This was the queenless portion. I saw a large, capped queen cell in it last week, and had been leaving it alone in hopes she would get out and get mated. So I assume this is a virgin queen.

Am totally puzzled at what to do next, if anything.
The queen was not with them, they will swarm again real soon
 

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Sounds like the virgin queen was in a mating swarm. What you witnessed may have been Apiary Vicinity Mating, an occurrence where the virgin leaves with a swarm of bees, including drones from the same hive, mates right there in the swirl of bees and promptly returns.

I believe it occurs when the weather is not very conducive to long flights. What was your weather like? Your new queen will likely get more chances at a longer flight and the opportunity to meet other suitors.

I've only heard and read about this and never got to see it. It is usually described exactly as you did. I wouldn't worry at all about the hive swarming again based on what you saw.

Wayne
 

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One of my splits did that on a Friday a few weeks ago. They swarmed for real the next day.
 

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If there is more than one queen cell in there and they are heavy in population, then they may very well swarm on you, it has happened to me when making up splits too strongly with multiple queen cells.
 

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be ready tomorrow....they will get it right tomorrow.

same thing happened to me this past Saturday....then they got it right on Sunday
 

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I had one do that 2 days ago , landed in the apple tree then 30 mins. later took off again and went back to the hive. I opened it up ,found the queen put her in a queen cage. moved her and a few frames of bees to another hive. left the 2 swarm cells with the original hive. hope that works.
 

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If this is a practice run then they will swarm again for sure. I have read that a strong nuc hive will swarm
with the virgin queen. You can reduce their chance by doing a split again. Put another frame of eggs/larva
in the new nuc to make another queen. Try to see if there is another virgin or capped qc in there.
 
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