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Interesting observation:

I had to move some hives recently. I found one that had a cluster of bees undrneath the SBB with a laying queen. upon further inspection there was a laying queen in the hive also. I'm guessing the hive planed to swarm but the rainy weather prevented it so the swarm parked underneath the SBB. there is still about 1000 bees under the SBB. I masy encourage them back in the hive but also recheck for the queen.

Dan
 

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I would put them in a nuc box and try to start another hive if they did ok.
 

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I had the same thing happen to me except no queen underneath the hive. I tried four times to spray them with 1:1 and brush them back into the hive to no avail.

Old beek in town suggested I remove the Screen Bottom Board and replace with a Solid Bottom Board temporarily until the bees could reorient to the "inside" of the hive.

It worked like a charm.
 

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"...I'm guessing the hive planed to swarm ..."
i'd bet they already swarmed and a virgin came back from a mating flight and could smell the hive but could'nt find the entrance. they often have multiple queen cells when swarming.
good luck,mike
 
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