After inspecting my two overwintered hives a couple of weeks ago, I decided to do a "simulated swarm split" of my strongest hive that consisted of 2 deeps and one medium box and was packed with bees. I placed 4-5 frames of brood, honey, pollen, and nurse bees along with the old queen in a new box to create a new hive. The second hive looked good upon inspection but I didn't think it was ready to split Unfortunately, I did not go through all of the frames. The simulated swarm split worked and both hives are buzzing along (no pun)!
Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting on my deck and I noticed a bunch of something in a cedar tree about 10 feet from my now, three hives but I couldn't make out what it was. When I approached my hives, I noticed a bunch of bees (25-30) on the front board of the second overwintered hive looking bewildered! I quickly figured out that this second hive had swarmed and they were looking for somewhere to go. At least, I hope it was this second hive!
Luckily, I had just put together another deep and 10 frames over the weekend. So, I quickly set up this new "swarm hive", cut the limb that the swarm was on, and shook them into the new, fourth hive! Buttoned everything up, put a glass gallon jar of 1:1 syrup on top, and walked away feeling that (1) I just had my first swarm and (2) that I just caught my first swarm!
Never a dull moment!