This spring has been a busy time of catching swarms and working with our hives. My parents have a wild hive in their front yard and every year just like clock work it swarms. This year that wild hive did something we were not prepared for, it swarmed four times. It's possible that it does this every year but we just don't always notice it each time.
The first swarm from the wild hive was pretty large and hung in two clumps, which a first we thought it was possibly two separate swarms but once we caught them and seen how they reacted we made the assumption it was one swarm.
The swarm had landed rather high in the tree which makes it harder to reach as you can see.
We got them into the box which isn't difficult, just a couple of good knocks and they shake right into the box. The question I get asked most often is, how do you know you have the queen. You need to watch how the bees act once you get them into the box. They won't stay in the box if the queen isn't in there.
Since this wild hive swarmed four times it was getting expensive to set a new hive each time we caught another swarm. It's about $140 - $200 every time you set up a new hive, if you don't already have the hive boxes to move them into. So we started doing it a little different.
The second time this hive swarmed we tried something new that we had not tried before, we combined the swarms.
To do that we stapled news paper to the bottom of the brood box.
Once all the bees go into the hive put on the outer cover.