Re: Catching a swarm with an empty hive
Another options is to create a NUC from main hive and guarantee some honey production.
Remove a couple of frames of brood, and one mostly pollen and one mostly honey and nurse bees. They should grow their own queen or you can introduce a queen. If not, each time you inspect the main hive transfer a frame of brood/eggs and add them to the NUC, so the NUC will grow a queen. However, periodicaly transfer brood frames to keep open brood area in main hive. Replace frames removed with preferrably open drawn comb in the brood nest of the main hive.
And keep open comb/foundation in the honey supers of the main hive. This and open brood area and some checkerboarding will minimize swarming. The main hive will stay very strong, produce lots of honey, not swarm and you will build up a second strong hive.
The main hive does not skip a beat, and 250lbs of honey is achieveable.
If the main hive is strong, you can also readily create a third hive.
If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!