Captured very small swarm this late in the year.
Was out at the farm cutting the grass around the hives a few days ago. There was a small cluster of bees on the ground in the grass about 3 feet in front of one of the hives. It was indeed a swarm. I was able to get most the bees in a small box with my gloved hands. I didn't have a position set up or equipment out there to put them in so I took them home where I do. I'm nearly certain there is a queen there and all, but it's not much more than a handfull of bees, and this late in the year without help, I think their chances of makeing it are slim to none. I also didn't even have any drawn comb to put in with them but just frames of bare foundation.
What I plan to do is to remove 2 frames of brood from a healthy colony by means of the brushing bees off then putting above excluder for 3 hours for the nurse bees to return to the brood. This is to avoid removing the queen from the parent colony. I don't like pulling a 2 frame split from another hive this late in the year either but.... .
After all that explaining my question is would it be a good idea to leave the frames of brood trapped in the nuke for about 3 days away from a queen to make them more readily accept to the queen of the small swarm or should I go ahead and install them with that swarm soon?
Re: Captured very small swarm this late in the year.
Depends on how many colonies you have, if you have a good many, I would just combine them and hope the small cluster of bees will protect the queen. If you really need another colony I would put the brood above an excluder for at least a day or two and then combine them, you can leave them above the other queen for awhile and let them build up, because the existing queen's pheromones are mostly transferred by tracking not airflow. Good luck, I once caught a late swarm in a coffee can with plenty of room left over, they overwintered and became my most prolific colony.