The hive we made the split from on Saturday swarmed yesterday and went to a conveniently low branch nearby. Dieter helped me to rig up a nuc box under the branch and we chipped away until the whole dropped into the box. I put the box in position next to a national hive and this morning shook the lot in to the big hive. I felt I needed to get them into a bigger hive because it was a BIG swarm and I will not be here for a few days. Perhaps this second move was a mistake because two hours later they were off again. This time they settled in another slightly less straightforward collecting spot and I was inclined to leave them in the hope that they would move in to a bait hive. Dieter however was determined to have another go, and just as we were having a cup of tea to stimulate the little grey cells better to sort out the situation, off they went. They wooshed around in the garden being swept about by gusts of wind (swarming must be tricky in a wind) and finally came to rest exactly where they had come from.
We decided a skep might be our best collecting vessel and while I held the basket Dieter cut branches until the swarm again dropped smoothly down. I had already set up a national hive in a completely different bit of the garden; somewhere away from the other hives and slightly shady. I immediately shook the bees in to the hive , popped on a feeder and closed it all up. I was aware that all the books say leave the skep , tilted for the flying bees to enter and then move it all in the evening. Bees don’t read books (that is clear from their refusing to do what the books say they should do, or are they just rebels?) and so far the flyers seem to be homing in on the hive so I presume the queen is in there. I hope, having invested in a night of hive dwelling they will decide to stay, but if not , like Lynne , I will just reassure myself that I am contributing to the wild populations. Unless they end up in some other b***s bait box!