Okay, I'm always learning something but I truly felt schooled on this one.
I was reviewing a hive that seemed to be busting at the seems this weekend. Sure enough, capped swarm cells, at least 15 of them. I thought about it and decided to remove the queen and put her in a nuc as a queen bank, and remove 2 frames with mature capped Q cells along with 4 frames with eggs, open larva and honey and 2 dry but drawn frames (from a dead out) for a total of 2 5 frame nucs. I start searching and there she is 5 frame into the search. I felt pretty cocky. I got a queen cage set it to the side, opened it and reached over to get the queen.
Poof, she flew off like a shot. I stood there dumbfounded waiting for her to return to the opened hive. Nope, not that I saw. I went ahead and did what I had planned but made sure to leave some capped swarm cells and added a drawn super to reduce congestion even further. I checked on the hive the next day and it had the queenless roar so no telling where she went but I'm confident where's she not.
When I found her there were eggs on that frame so she was still laying. I didn't think laying queens could take off like that but learned otherwise. Anyone else experience this?