Caught 3 swarms yesterday, but all had recently swarmed and came without resisting. However, last week I lost two swarms because when I started climbing the ladder, it shook the tree a little, and a few bees took to the air. These few bees coerced the others into thinking it was time to go... so the whole swarm took off down the street, never to be heard of again. These swarms that I lost had probably been there for a few days- I just happened to see each one while messing with another swarm. Anyone have an idea on how to catch a jittery swarm?
Yesterday I made me up a "butterfly net" type of swarm catcher for REALLY high swarms. I bent a hanger in a circle and sewed camo netting onto the hanger with nearly 3 feet of net dangling. I twisted the hanger end onto a long, thin, cut tree trunk, and it worked like a charm getting one swarm. I think a jittery swarm would just fly out of my net though, before I could lower it and close it off.
If I think there may be swarms at a beeyard I will put a few singles with comb on the pickup and a 15' aluminum pole with a 5 gallon plastic honey bucket wired to it.This will poke the majority of swarms out of a tree.I also have a 50' nylon clothesline rope tied to a rock that I will toss over a limb if the pole wont reach.Lower the rock down,tie a frame of unsealed brood to the rope and raise it up to them .They will soon cover it and you can lower them down carefully.If neither of these will get them then adios.I dont climb a ladder for them after falling over with a box of bees and the ladder landing on top of me many years ago!