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Yep been there done that :( I watched one fly that I had just set a ladder with a box on top of it, I had to raise the limb to get the box under the swarm so as I sat back to watch them go in the box they flew away :(
 

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The emotional ups and downs of swarm catching :eek: Every swarm I go for is still exciting, but then the excitement instantly turns into doldrums when they take off. Sometimes, I think the Queen has Spotters too, they see us coming and do a " We're outta here " waggle dance or something. :scratch:
 

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Last year there was a basketball size swarm in a tree at a local county campground near me. I was getting set up and they decided to take off. I walked in/with the swarm (very cool) until they went over a swamp and I watched them go off into the distance. The campground workers said they had been there for about a day.
 

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Yep...that's why when we get a swarm call...we drop everything and run to the scene as if we were about to have a baby or something! :)
 

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This year, one of my hives swarmed and when the owner tracked me down, he told me that they were still on the branch -- When I got there, I was really excited and as I got my nuc ready, I noticed the branch was getting lighter as the bees were taking off. The owner told me that the swarm of bees was alot larger before I got there.

I watched the branch get lighter and lighter -- I whacked the remaining bees into a nuc, in the hopes of getting them. Soon they were gone. Bye Bye Bees.

The cool thing for the story is that I taught the owner to catch my cast off swarms. I gave him a veil and he wears gloves. He is really excited. So far, he caught one of my swarms on his own.
 
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