Hi All: Hope everyone is enjoying this epic spring weather we're experiencing. 91 degrees here in Folsom, CA today!

Got my 4th swarm of the season (I've turned into the neighborhood bee-dude, everyone comes by if they've seen a swarm). Biggest one yet: size of two basketballs. No idea of the weight but my buddy's face turned crimson once the full weight of the cluster was on the box he was holding. Good times.

Anyway, I read somewhere of people using queen excluders under the bottom hive box to keep the queen in and the new swarm from absconding. I haven't had a problem with the last three swarms but it seems like reasonable insurance - except if the queen hasn't mated yet. I'm not well versed on the finer points of a swarm - when does the queen mate during a swarm? AND, anyone have experience with using an excluder like I described?

As always, thanks in advance for your answers!