I was walking out to take some recycling to the curb (result of all my cleaning/organizing) when a neighbor and great gardener, Hal, walked up. "Fortunate that you are here," he said. He sounds like the perfect Southern novel when he speaks. He told me that there was a bee swarm just down the street and he wondered if I could come see it.
I was delighted and walked with him to the corner where there was a huge swarm on a branch about seven feet up in my neighbor's tree. Scott, the neighbor, said the bees had just landed there about 10 minutes before. I have all of my windows open and would have heard a swarm gathering in my yard if they were my bees, so I am pretty sure they came from somewhere else.
About two cats, I'd say. I went home to get all my swarm catching gear: sheet, spray container of sugar syrup, ladder, banker's box, ventilated hive cover, straps, bee brush, veil, jacket, old comb, my swarm catcher and mop handle. I came back and up walked George Andl, a neighbor, beekeeper, and fellow blogger. George wanted to help and went home to get his gear.
When he came back, I climbed the ladder and held the branch in one hand and the plastic banker's box in the other. I shook the branch and most of the bees fell into the banker's box. I used the water cooler bottle of my swarm catcher to gather most of the remaining bees.
I set the banker's box on the ground and the bees began nasanov emissions. I assume that means I got the queen but a number of bees stayed on the tree branch, drawn, I suppose, to her pheromone. I forgot to bring anything to cover the ventilated cover and make it dark in the box, so I just sort of wrapped the sheet up over the box. Bees continued to go into it.
Since I literally live three houses away. I didn't strap the top onto the box, but instead completely surrounded the box with sheet and gently lifted it into my car.
When I got home, the bees were mostly clinging to the underside of the ventilated hive cover. I poured the bees into a waiting hive box.
When I brought the bees home, there was a small clump still up in the tree. I went back to Scott's house and put an old nuc box under the cluster. I put in the nuc box the old comb that I had baited the banker's box with when I shook the swarm. I thought that might smell like "mommy" to them. I left the nuc box with the lid ajar and went to dinner.
As dark fell, I returned to Scott's where all the bees had pretty much gone into the nuc box. I brought it home and set it on the banker's box so that the entry to the nuc box faced the entry to the hive in which I had put the swarm. In the morning perhaps the nuc bees will go home to mommy in the new hive box!