Critique my actions, but please be kind!
Yesterday I went into my hives with my class in the master beekeepers program so that I could give them their practical test. Before we even started, I spotted a swarm in my annually-catches-a-swarm wax myrtle. Although it was no suprise, I was not prepared, so the class and I put together a deep box to hive them in. They watched with fascination at the process. The swarm, about volley ball size with about a three-foot trail running down the branch, dropped obediently into the box and onto the sheet beneath and immediately started fanning at the entrance. In less than a half hour, I was able to put in the rest of the frames and put a lid on the box. I closed up the front with a "front door" last night after all was quiet.
Once into the test, we found that the hive I was hoping had a virgin queen was now in laying worker mode. So. . .
Today I moved the laying worker hive to the other side of my property (about 80 yards), separated the boxes and left them there without brushing them off. I put the swarm box where the laying worker hive used to be. Rationale: I will leave the laying worker hive overnight. Foragers will be gone and hopefully the laying workers will have died. If not, I'll brush them off, retrieve the boxes and freeze the frames from the two brood boxes (unless I immediately need them for another swarm!) and immediately give the box full of nectar to the swarm.
I'm trying to do it the easiest, laziest, quickest way because it's Holy Week and I have an entire house to clean for Easter. To us Italians that means, down with the drapes, up with the sheers, out with the wool rugs, in with the sisal. Walls, baseboards, floors, windows washed. Lots of work. Next week I intend to give more attention to my girls and finally split those boxes which, now, have queen cells all over the place. I know, I know, they're gonna swarm. Just hoping they'll hold out until next week. Of course, you know this means I'll be hiving swarms on Easter Sunday!