Unlike Jeff, this is only my third year of beekeeping and this is the first year I installed my first package of bees. My first year of beekeeping I bought two Nucs, starting my second year I had one hive left and was able to split it and capture a swarm. I went into the winter of 2014 with 3 strong hives. Unfortunately like many beekeepers I only had one out of three hives alive this spring. I wanted to grow my apiary and package bees were my best option.
I got my first experience with the damage a mouse can cause on a colony of bees this year, It was a lesson I won't soon forget! A local beekeeper passed away recently and the family asked Jeff to sell off his excess equipment and remove a couple remaining hives of bees that had not been touched since last October. First the bees were relocated because family members said they were allergic. Second we were very busy with packages, nucs, removals and swarms. Inspection of those hives would have to wait.
If you capture many swarms you will learn a few things are always true: 1. sometimes the swarms leave before you get there; 2. they are not always going to be honeybees; 3. and sometimes the swarm is just to high in they tree to reach easily. Its the facts of chasing bees, not all of them want to cooperate or land in a easy spot for us to capture. We have seen swarms on all kinds of things: cooling ducts, fences, trees, light fixtures, the ground and even cars. These wonderful insects dont always cooperate but here is a simple trick to get the ones up high.