Swarms, time of day to take
I've been waiting until sunset to go take swarms. My thought has been that most of the bee's will have returned to the swarm with the fewest bee's flying...resulting in me getting as may bee's as it would be possible for me to get. This has worked well for me, but am curious to hear your opinions about taking swarms at other times of the day.
If I were to take swarms earlier in the day, might returning scout bee's be of concern to the homeowners...or would such activities be negligable?
I guess this depends on the homeowner. I think they would be very concerned if they called you at 10am, the bees moved into their wall at 3 pm, and you arrived at 7:30pm to collect the swarm. I would collect them as soon as possible, and tell the homeowners that they might have a few "souveniers"
Most of the bees out flying will be scout bees so you wan't lose that many if you do a grab and go so the sooner the better I say. 8)
I agree, go ASAP
I picked up another swarm yesterday from a house in the city. They have huge colony in a centuries old oak on their property; it is over 40 feet up in the tree. It swarmed three times that I am aware of since the 4th of May! I got two of the swarms and one of the others was only on a branch about an hour before they took off to set up home in the neighbor's porch! The scout bees had found an entrance to the porch and they were rapidly entering the porch when I arrived. The neighbor of course, did not want me to get them without paying him for the bees! When I said that I did not pay for bees, he took a spayer and went to work on the bees.
If you want a swarm, then go get them ASAP. They can move on to somewhere else at any time, be sprayed, disturbed, or as fate may be, another beekeeper is called in to take them. I had that happen to me; it was unknown to me that it was going to be a race between beekeepers to see who got there first. I arrived in time to see a 'first timer' wack the cluster off of a high limb onto a sheet and try to wrap up the swarm to take it home....needless to say, they left and no one got them.
The proper time to capture a swarm is ASAP in my humble opinion.
The proper time to capture a swarm is as soon as you see it.
If they are in a convienient place, then sundown is my preference. If somewhat awkward position, difficult to get them, then I prefer dawn. It is cool (45-50F), no sunlight yet, and they don't fly around. They stay where you put them.