Well we had an exciting afternoon yesterday. We are new beekeepers and got our first three hives last spring. Thankfully all three made it through the winter and I prepared some new boxes with brand new frames to add as honey supers along with queen excluders. Being new to this we had never considered catching swarms but my wife called me out yesterday to find that three branches on one of our leland trees had a swarm hanging on them. So being totally prepared and experienced keepers we did the obvious...we began running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
We quickly grabbed two of the freshly added boxes from one of our hives as they were bee-less, the bees hadnt yet moved up through the excluder to them to build them out. I didn't have any spare bases/lids so quickly cut up a couple of squares of birch ply to act as a floor/ceiling. Cut a 1/14" hold in the front of one of the boxes and placed the hacked together 'hive' near the tree. With this prepared we gently cut each of the branches and shook then over the boxes to allow the bees to fall in.
For the first 15-30 mins it seemed like thousands of angry bees were flying around trying to work out what was going on but we left them alone and an hour later things had settled down and they are still in the boxes. So, I guess we just 'captured' our first swarm!!
Reading through a few threads it seems the first thing to do, other than probably leave them in peace for a few days, is to treat for mites. Once they have been treated we can move the box (along with a proper lid/base) to the apiary with our other three. This is @100-150 feet away and by then I know (?) we will have to close them up once moved for 48 hours.
I guess one question arises... I have seen numerous mentions of ensuring they have built out frames, to encourage them to stay. I do have some frames, should I open up the boxes and insert them today or just leave them in peace. They have two mediums with 20 brand new frames at present.
I know many reading this will be raising their eyebrows, with hundreds of swarms under their belt but I have to admit, it got the adrenaline going!! :-)