My most favorite bee keeping activity pretty much is collecting swarms. I have learned a lot over the years and taught a lot of people about honey bees at the same time.
My first experience was at a fellow club members place in year 2 of bee keeping. He had called me up and said one of his hives had swarmed and if I wanted it to come over. I get there and see his truck back in the field where he keeps his bees behind a privatency fence that is really a wind block. I drive back there and he points up in a locus tree and says there is a second swarm if you want it but I will let you climb up and get it.
So I take the 5 gallon pail he gives me with a lid climb up the ladder, set the lid where I can get it quickly. Following his instructions I hold the pail under the swarm with one hand, grab the branch with the other and give it a good shake. Most of the bees went in the pail that I quickly Put the lid on. We loaded the already boxed swarm in my truck and the fresh caught one with a box of frames. I went home and dumped that swarm in the box.
My very first swarm catch.
Of course that caused me to make 4 more hive bodies and 40 more frames to install foundation in so I could return his boxes and replace his frames and foundation.
This swarm we had been told had been there 3 days. The ladies husband wanted her to leave them be and see how long they would stay. But on day 3 she called me to come and get them. I used my box in a box bee vac to get them. I leave less bees bewildered that way. This comb was under the main cluster.
I must mention that I live near two county lines and have small towns within 11 miles of me on either side. I have my name on a list of both county extensions offices, The USDA office list, animal control offices list the police dept for both counties and city's also the fire dept.
I was on a bee keepers supply list that kept a list for all the 48 states and some Canadian provinces, our regional club and all 3 of the near by area clubs.
This one was a challenge because the bees were in a thick spot so I had to get in the tree and vacuum them up. Glad I had learned early on to have a long suction hose.
this one was really way up in a birch tree. belonged to another bee keeper that said he didn't want them because he didn't have the equipment.
He used a chain saw and cut the tree so we could bend it down low enough to get the bees.
this one was way up in a tree so high I could not reach it. My friend Jim had told me of getting a swarm by shoot off the tree branch with a 12ga shot gun. I asked the owner of the tree if that would be ok and did he have a 12ga.. He did so I sat the hive body under the tree shot the branch off and it fell almost on top of the hive and the bees all went inside.
This was a two part swarm mostly on the ground and they smelled the drawn comb and crawled right in the hive, I used my loppers to cut the tree branch that had a few and shook it into the hove too.
I used to tell people that I only wore a T shirt and jean because the bees were not aggressive and couldn't sting when in a swarm because they were full of honey. Well this swarm got Kare to swat me up side the head on the way home and say stop telling people that. One had crawled up her pant leg and stung her, this was the second time she had bee stung like that. She also learned to always wear bands on her jeans.
Random swarm pictures and some show why I used a bee vacuum to gather them.