I’ve recently educted/trapped out a few frames of bees from an old dead tree trunk to resume beekeeping after a few years not doing it. I’m transitioning them to top bar hives. The bees are wonderfully calm and that particular hive is enormous, so a second eduction is underway, after which I’ll let them return to normal, since the tree is not likely to be suitable habitat for other animals in its location. The three brood combs I put in might have had some open brood in them, but because I wasnt wearing my glasses when I collected them from another strong hive that my mother owns, my inspection was more a guess than certain. I was also only at experimenting stage with the trap out method and had no idea I was going to be as successful as I was at tempting the bees so effectively into the eduction box. Not making sure there was open brood wasnt the best form on my part, but they have been apparently doing well until I inspected them last week and discovered with some dismay that all the brood had hatched and I couldnt see any obvious queen cells. However there is lots of action outside the hive, plenty of pollen being taken inside and some low flying ‘tanker’ bees obviously laden with nectar when they amusingly miss the landing board. The nurse bees inside the hive are definitely cute and fluffy and massing around a central comb they’ve drawn down and there’s a small amount of pollen and honey stores in the usual bands, plus what may indeed be uncapped queen brood. More combs are also being built further out in the hive. It’s early but if it looks like they were not able to make a queen at this stage. There’s still some time to save them if i succeed with the second eduction and combine them, or I can take some more brood (with eggs) out of Mum’s hive and try again. Oddly though, I have seen two small swarm like groups of bees at the front of the hive in the past few days. Each event has occurred around 2 pm when you’d expect to be seeing foragers returning en masse, but I was surprised about the large number of them. At first I thought uh-oh, a raid, but the guard bees standing high on their legs with their wings braced, let them all trundle in with not a punch thrown and after about 10 minutes everything went back to normal - busy. It looked somewhat unbelievably, like some bees I’d left behind during the transfer of the eduction box from about a kilometre away a week before, had found their long lost sisters and reunited with them. I know this isnt likely, since bees seem to ‘divorce’ their family once they are split off from the main hive. Today I noticed a similar sized ‘swarm’ doing the same thing except that there were more guards and more bees pouring out of the hive, flying about in little and big circles then right back in where they came from. Nothing bad happened. A little research was conducted on the web and I realised that it was the young bees inside graduating to forager status and taking their first orientation flight. What this means is I have to find a queen or some open brood and nurse bees in the next few days. That’s a bit complicated from where I am, and I’ll have to do it by finding a tallish slave to help me lift some heavy honey supers at Mum’s place. She’s 80 and not strong enough now. And while I’m at it, I’ll start a top bar nucleus hive to make transitioning bees from the Langstroth’s more do-able on my own. Time to take some restorative care of this two week old hive before “Uh-oh!” turns into “Oh no!”. Anyone else out there have a different interpretation of events? Solutions? I’d welcome advice.