Got a swarm call. When I arrived I found them in a pine tree at about shoulder height, so naturally I thought this would be easy pickens. Placed the box underneath and gave the branch a jolt and 90% of the bees go in box. I close the box and wait for them to fan and watch the rest march in. I've done this about 1/2 dozen times before so I was feeling fairly confident.
Well, sometimes it just doesn't work out. In seconds, the bees inside start to pour out, so I obvioulsy didn't get the queen. OK.... what amazed me was how quickly they vanished. No re-settling back on the branch, no swirling mass of bees, nothing.... they just seemed to fly off into the blue yonder... and I couldn't even tell what direction... it was that quick.
I realize you can't get them everytime, but takes a little swagger out of your step when you drive 15 miles and tell the property owner how confident you are, etc., when there's a ball of bees inches from your face that manage to get away.
In retrospect, since I was nearly eye level with this swarm, is there any merit in trying to spot the queen and nabbing her rather than shaking all the bees into a box? Is that realistic?