Received the call at 8:00 pm this evening from a neighbor at the community garden.
It sounded almost too good to be true "They're in a willow at about waste height"
And sure enough 20 minutes later I found the clustered swarm, as promised, about 4 feet off the ground in a willow. Not a huge swarm but a nice compact pile of tiny bees clustered around a large (3" diameter) and smaller branch.
Placed a box with frames beneath them and gave the branch a sharp jerk. Perhaps 90% dropped straight into the box, hurray!
Unfortunately 10 to 15 mins later it became apparent they weren't going to stay and back to the branch they went, drat.
Meanwhile it's getting dark.
Okay, thinks I, I'll cut the branches and lay them on top of the frames.
Well, that was a bit of a mistake. I'm not sure if it was because it was getting dark or they just objected to my starting to cut my way in so that I could get to the branch they were on, but I received 6 stings to the right hand and one to the left in zero seconds flat. If I'd not suited up I'd be a real mess right now.
At this point I decided to call it quits for the night and left the box under the cluster for tomorrow morning. It' stacked on top of two other boxes to get it off the ground so I'm hoping they'll be safe if they happened to change their mind after I left.
Any and all pointers on what I did wrong will be greatly appreciated.
A somewhat swollen SH