swarm or what

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


House Bee
Feb 2, 2009
Reaction score
Hive Type
Number of Hives
Morning all
I Sitting drinking my cup of tea and looking out over the garden,when to my horror about 2000 - 3000 bees just took to the air from a hive that I A/S on Sunday, there was no queen in this hive but I did leave 2 queen cells.

None of queen should not have hatched yet as the cells where not capped at the time of the A/S.

Any thoughts
Sounds odd. Is the queen definitely in the other half of the split.
What way did you do the split? Were the 2 cells with the flying bees on the original site.
All I can think of is either the queen ended up in the wrong half of the split or else there was a sealed queen cell you missed which hatched and the virgin left with a swarm.

You often lose a cast when you leave two cells but I don't know what happened in this case.
I had a young vigourous colony (from an AS mid April ) prepare for swarming last week despite plenty of room (on double brood + 2 drawn supers and one of foundation - the hive was heaving with bees) . They were very close to capping a couple and there were not many eggs around.
I'm down to the bare bones with woodwork so I removed the queen on Saturday morning and 3 frames of brood to make up a nuc ( in a travelling box !) and left the hive then with loads of Q Cells ( 20+ ) to cap. I'll sort out my favourite to keep later this week.

Early Sunday morning they must have capped a cell or two because I was treated to a flying display more like Starlings in autumn, great clouds swirling around for about 30 minutes until one bee brighter than average realised there was no queen and they all went back in... good as gold since.

Your bees might have just been so close to swarming they followed through with their instincts but with no queen to follow, they returned. Just a suggestion......
Thanks for the quick replies
About 30 mins after the flight a mass of bees returned to the hive, all now normal I can stand next to the hive and they take no notice of me. Could have been a virgin play flight.

I will leave looking in until the weekend just in case.

Thanks all

John D

Latest posts