I have 4 established colonies, 3rd season. Have never caught a swarm. However my friend called me and has what looks like an establishing colony (see pic) on a bench outside his house. they arrived a few days ago and from the pic it looks like there are wax cappings on the ground-- so my guess is they're making comb and setting up shop.
I actually need a new queen for a hive. while I'm not crazy about using the genetics from a swarmed colony, beggars can't be choosers.
I understand how to catch a swarm from a branch etc by shaking into a box. But how would I go about this if there is already some comb etc? Should I do this in evening? smoke them and just try to shave off the comb and transfer into cardboard nuc box? I don't think there will be a way to shake them down into the box.. and I don't have a bee vacuum..
obviously my main goal is to preserve that queen... I'm guessing will be very hard to find her in this ball of bees