Well, I went out there this morning and the swarm is still on the limb. I don't know if they stayed because it got dark before they got into the hive, or maybe they're still not happy with how I cleaned out the box. If they're not in the hive in a few hours, I guess I'll have to get into my bee suit and put them in the box. It just doesn't seem like they can stay that way very long. They've been there around 24 hours now through 3 thundershowers. Where they're at is where the swarm trap was before I put them in the hive the first time.
Update 1: So they're still on the limb at 1:00 pm EDT. I guess I'm going to have
to suit up and put them in the box. I would have thought the LGO cotton
ball would have lured them back into the hive, plus the fact that I
moved it to about 3 feet from the limb they're on. Silly bees. I don't
know what they're thinking. I hope the queen is ok.
Update 2: I put the hive box under the swarm, removed four frames, and, like the
good hands people, I gently scooped them into the box. It's a small
swarm (about a pound)(but many may have been out scouting or foraging).
I put an entrance feeder full of syrup on top of the frames and put an
empty super around that. Hopefully, that will be encouraging and
welcoming enough for them to say this time. If I go out there this
evening and they're back to hanging on the limb, I'll just give up.
I have learned a lot from this experience. I don't think I'll use the
flower pot-type swarm trap any more. I'll just set a hive box with
frames out so they'll get started right. Hopefully next year I'll have
some drawn comb frames that I can put in the swarm trap to maybe make it
more attractive. And I don't think I'll do any cutouts. That comb is a
sticky gooey mashy mess. And, although I kind of knew it, now I really
know that bees will do what they want to do.
I was really surprised the swarm hung under that limb through three thundershowers. They must be tough bees.
But, so far they're staying in the box. I hope it goes better this time around.
Here's the hive right under the limb where the bees were hanging: