Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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absconding colony

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absconding colony

Hey all,

tldr version of question: do absconding colonies ever come back?

long version: (southern hemisphere question, so it's currently fall/autumn here, also talking about European honey bees, it also never gets cold enough here that bees can not go out at all during the winter, their window just gets shorter.)
somewhat newbie beekeeper here, so due to covid related reasons I got stuck away from checking on my hive for a while, It's also been super wet (we've had more than our average annual rainfall in the last 2 months), so they haven't had amazing foraging opportunities. Anyway I got a chance to check on them the other day and there were still plenty of bees around but I did notice there were incredibly low on capped frames, I didn't look too hard at anything at the time as I didn't want to disturb them too much. I went and made a batch of sugar syrup and left it to cool overnight, When I brought it down to them in the morning there were only two bees in the entire hive, pulling frames revealed that they were all uncapped and empty at the time I believed that that was it I was somewhat upset at the time and left the syrup in a feeder on top of the frames, put the lid back on and went away. that afternoon I went looking for the bees in all of the trees and that on the property, I didn't have any luck. the next day after work I did the same thing and I heard a buzzing coming from the vicinity of the hive, when I got there I found hundreds of bees going in and out of the hive. it's been two days later since then and there are still a whole heap of bees going in and out. I don't want to disturb them and make them leave so I haven't done an inspection to check on what's happening with the frames. I guess what I'm really asking is 'should I avoid getting my hopes up, or is this saveable?' I've got a big package of pollen and vitamins from a bee place coming on Tuesday according to the tracking data so if they are back they should be able to have enough food. anything else you could recommend?

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