As a 2nd-year beekeeper, I hadn't had the opportunity to catch a swarm until two weeks. When I went to visit one of my hives that is about 45 minutes from home for an inspection, I was hoping to find a full super of sourwood honey. Instead, a large swarm was on a fence post to greet me. Since it was late in the day, I couldn't recruit any help, so I went to work with a plastic tub, some window screen, and my bee brush. I think I got 90 percent of the bees - about 6 pounds - into the tub. Probably not bad for my first swarm.
I had to get some equipment on my way home as my apiary had no vacancies. The fellow I bought a hive body and frames from suggested that I dump the bees onto the top of the frames and let them work their way down onto the foundation. I used an empty super to create enough space on top of the bars so the cover didn't crush the bees. The next day, the bees had built a little comb on the inside of the outer cover (I didn't have an inner cover to use at the time), which I tore down, but none of the bees had moved down into the hive. A friend suggested that a Boardman feeder might encourage them to move down, but during yesterday's inspection, that had not happened. The void between the cover and top bars is now one-half full of very nice, natural comb. It is something to see, but I am afraid that it will cause trouble down the road. The bees are obviously walking up through the hive, but they are not drawing out any foundation.
Any suggestions on how to handle this?
Thanks in advance,