Heartbreaking Bee Swarm in Attica Indiana

I got the call on a Sunday afternoon that a homeowner had a swarm they wanted removed ASAP. First call of the year! So excited! I load up my gear and when I arrive I find this: 

Yes! A big one! Oh wait! There’s more!

And more!

It was a beautifully easy catch, about 4 feet off the ground under a bee tree. I placed the box under them and shook them in. There were enough bees to stuff two medium hive bodies full. I had to leave for work, so I left the boxes in place overnight until I got off shift in the morning..

They were all tucked into the boxes in the morning, so I strapped ten up and brought them home. I got them settled into place, thought about adding a frame of brood to anchor them, then decided against it since I was exhausted. I checked the entrance that afternoon and since they were still there, I figured everything would be fine. 

Wrong! They stayed another night, then decided to take another flight off into the unknown. My husband happened to be driving home and saw the cloud of bees cross over the highway. Well, crap. That was a painful lesson: always give them brood to anchor the swarm!