9 days ago my newly established nuc colony which was expanding rapidly in an 8 frame brood box swarmed. I caught the swarm that was only 20m from the parent hive in a small peach tree. I brushed and shook most of them into a nuc with 5 empty frames. Tge mass that was on the ground climbed up and into the nuc so I assumed I’d got the queen.I left it under the tree they swarmed to, and were still there the next day, but sometime during the second day they left. There were a handful of bees remaining and they just seemed to be hanging around the nuc. I left it there and every day there seemed to be a handful of bees still there but this afternoon, there are bees that seem to be foraging and returning to the nuc, bees doing orientating flights in front of the nuc and it appears to be full of bees, and sounds like it is. Is it possible that they have returned and are setting up a new hive in the nuc that they left from?
It could well be a new swarm, but possibly not from your hive at all.
When bees swarm they typically go to a nearby tree while the scouts search out a new permanent location for the hive. This is rarely within 300m of the parent hive.
A nuc box with bee smell would be attractive for a swarm looking for a home but not usually from a colony only 20m away.
Are there other bee hives in your area?
What measures did you take to prevent secondary swarms from the parent hive?
I was wondering if it could have been a random swarm. I don’t know if there’s other bee hives in the area. I assume there is because we’re in the bush, with only a few neighbours, but we’ve always had bees around way before ours. I culled the Queen cells down to 2. The parent hive hasn’t cast swarmed, there’s still way too many bees for that.
Yes, it’s certainly possible. Swarms do seem to be attracted to other apiaries and the area close to them.
Thanks for your replies Jim. I’ll leave them do their thing in the nuc for a week and then transfer them to a brood box and see if I can spot the Queen. I’ll do an inspection of the parent hive at the same time to see if either of the Queen cells came to fruition. It is still extremely active and there’s quite a few bees in the flow super.
I’d leave them a few days longer in case there is a virgin queen getting mated. Once you see eggs you can rehouse them if you think they are strong enogh
Ok. I’ll do that. Thanks very much for your advice. Cheers.