Top tip #1: Take measures to avoid swarming!
Did you check for queen cells? Yep, didn’t see any.
Was there room in the hive? Yes, space in the brood box and a lovely new super on top for honey.
Why did my bees decide to move out? Who knows but it is a lovely warm sunny day today – 23C. It’s been chilly here in North Yorkshire, to the point where finding days over 12C for full inspections has been tricky. We had a good look in the hive last weekend (when it peaked at a massive 13C) and found no queen cells, so I thought they wouldn’t be ready to swarm yet. Clearly the bees had other ideas and have taken advantage of a warm couple of days to leave. Maybe they have super secret magic bee sense and know that it’s going to be back to sub-zero temperatures again soon, so it was now or never for them.
Either way, they are now in a basket at the end of the garden. I’ll collect them after the stragglers come home this evening and move them to a secure box. I have a nuc on order which is due to arrive tomorrow, then it will be a case of setting them up in their new home and hoping for the best.