Nasonov pheromone?

Hello! New beekeeper here. I installed my new bee package about two months ago. They seem to be multiplying quickly and thriving. The other day I went outside and saw an enormous number of bees flying/hovering over my wetlands (not far from the hive) and the landing board was full of bees send off the nasonov pheromone (best guess from my limited knowledge). In about 20 minutes it was all back to normal activity. Any ideas what this activity was? I’m including a picture from the landing board for references.

Hi Jeannette and welcome! This is swarm season in our part of the world, and it looks & sounds to me like your bees are swarming. I think you witnessed a ‘practice swarm’ over your wetlands - it’s just what it sounds like, and it’s likely the bees involved will be gone today or tomorrow.

Oh wow, I didn’t expect my new colony to swarm so soon. I’ll pay close attention during my next hive inspection this week. I hope I’m not queenless!

Swarming won’t leave them queenless exactly, but if they keep issuing cast swarms that becomes a risk. Swarming will leave you with an unmated queen however, so there will be a broodless period.

Have you been feeding them? If so that‘s probably why.

I fed them a gallon of simple syrup and a pollen patty when I first installed them but haven’t fed them since. Any recommendations on what I should do? Check for Queen and/or Queen cells and go from there?

Back again! I’m 99% sure you’re right and they swarmed. I didn’t see the Queen but I did see a few Queen cells and there are still capped brood. I’ll give them some time to do their thing and check back later. Let me know if you have any further advice. Thanks!-

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