Swarm returning

Our very productive hive swarmed some time on Friday they settled in a tree about 3 metres from the hive but 25 metres up so no chance of capturing them. We watched them all Saturday and they didn’t move away. This morning (sun) we got up early to check and they were still there. I noticed swarming activity around 10 and to our dismay they went back to the hive. We then split the hive putting 4 frames into a traditional hive that we had ready and left 4 frames in the flow hive. We had a couple of thoughts either they have come back to fill up on honey, or given we are expecting heavy rain for the next week they decided to come back or the Queen died? We couldn’t see the queen when we split the hive but there were so many bees that we could have missed her. We also moved a queen cell as part of the split.
Carmen and Allan


Well done doing a split, but swarm prevention is a better option. You are so lucky they decided to return to the hive.
The bees left full of honey, The swarm would normally protect the queen, but it is a possibility she died. If the weather change is going to be a severe change with heavy rain I would suspect the bees responded to that, like ants being hyper active before rain comes.

Thanks Peter, yes we should have split the hive prior to this. Our first spring with a full hive so we have learnt a valuable lesson. They did leave with full bellies we had 6 full frames on the super and were going to harvest on the Saturday.

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Split was a great idea and that’s what I would have done. A split needs mostly nurse bees to look after the brood. I would shake nurse bees into the split from other frames to make sure the brood is looked after. Another option is to split and use nurse bees from another hive/s to build their numbers.
A little trick I used for many yrs is if you split from a hive and use other hives to give the split more nurse bees spray them with sugar syrup just yr normal cheap hand sprayer from hardware store, spray a wet solution over the bees and they will just settle into their job Hope this helps