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Will a swarm return?

I lost my queens in June/July & requeened (Eastern Iowa). Two weeks ago, one hive seemed to be dropping off in brood production & I could not find the queen (she’s marked). I get a call last week that a tree is buzzing & my buddies think they’ve found my missing queen, because they can see bees in a tree by the clubhouse, and the tree is buzzing. I agreed that it seems that my bees have swarmed.

Today, I inspect that hive… there were supersedure & swarm cells last two inspections & today, I see a marked queen. There was capped brood & larva & was expecting to see a new, unmarked queen.

So… is it likely my queen left with her accompaniment & returned, or is it likely that I missed her in the two inspections? Truly, I believe I inspected thoroughly, but since I’m new, I’m aware that I may not be as thorough as necessary.

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I have never seen a swarm return. I would guess you missed the queen last inspection. Easy to do.


I have not heard of a swarm returning to the hive and you have not mentioned of a massive boost in bee numbers in the hive and the queen would not return on her own so I have to assume that you missed seeing her on both of the inspections you have done.
I very seldom see a queen in my hives but seeing eggs and brood tells me a queen is there and laying so I don’t need to search for her.
Cheers Matt

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Been around bees awhile ! ( back into the 1950’s n 60’s n again last several years) … Nope ! Like the others I’ve never heard of a swarm returning back to their same address.

I have heard more than hundreds of times of overlooking her or missing her. Anymore with my crappy eyes :eyes: I seldom see her (marked or not). I have to rely on seeing those tiny to large white larva progressions ! If I somehow spot her … I make sure I get a pix to prove I actually did :laughing:

Those shy fast stealth Queens are really talented at hiding. Like a moving needle in a haystack I’d say !

I’ve found queen cells larva grubs more than once n few times Queenie … I know she wasn’t hiding from the colony because they were trying to replace her for some reason.



Thanks all for the responses. I’m resigning myself to poor observational skills.

Can’t wait to be at this for awhile so that I’m not such an obvious noob. I know that there is much to learn, no matter how long one has been at it. So, in the meantime, read, practice, ask questions, keep learning…


Hey Matt, I have 12 hives now and 2 I look after, I guess by pure accident I found one queen recently and painted her. I don’t normally look for a queen but just to check for sealed brood and eggs to confirm she is there. I was so pleased to see her I near wet my pants with excitement. Having 70+ hives years ago queen finding was not a forte then either. I had my own way of working around my eyesight problem.
Bee keeping is an interest that we will always learn about providing you look, listen. and prepared to figure out what you are seeing. I am sure I am still learning after 30+ years of bee keeping.
You will find lots of help and information on this forum and a read of old posts is worth looking through. Brad13 recently posted about feed banana to bees which when I first started was a taboo but it now seems an ‘old wives tale’. I have an experiment going with 5 of my hives but when I have finished that I will do a banana experiment.
Cheers Matt