It's getting close to the time when early spring swarms will be issuing, so I thought I'd update a little of the methodology I have been hypeing.
Notices: I got my little flyers out and all tacked up on local bulletin boards; and gave a few to the volunteer fire departments (they were real happy to meet me, as they get a bunch of calls this time of the year and usually don't know what to do.) And remind the folks that you met last year when you captured their swarms, they may get more and they will tell their friends too.
Flowerpot Swarm Traps - I've noticed that the area where the two pots meet rim-to-rim is not always uniform enough to eliminate gaps along the centerline. This may irritate the bee gals enough to abandon the trap, or cause them to start spending too much time filling the gaps with propolis. Our old friend Duct Tape
Carol in the comments section was thinking of installing top bars so as to limit disruption when transferring the swarm into a permanent facility. I think that it would be hard to make top bars for a round space. Besides, I'm thinking that just monitoring the traps closely will allow you to move the swarms and shake them into your hive before they have built much comb. In my first flowerpot swarm foray - where my mentor friend took the bees - I got to the trap within a day of their occupying the trap and there was only one saucer-sized comb inside. My friend shook the swarm onto a sheet and the bees just docilely marched in to their new home.
2) Wear those gloves. Even though most swarms are docile, there's always a couple of bee girls who didn't get the word. They want to sting you! Just because.
7) I'm kinda on the cusp about using a spay bottle and water. I've captured swarms both with and without. If the swarm is densely packed, you can't get the interior bees wet enough. If it's spread out, sometimes spraying the little clusters will aid you in getting them all. You choose. Also - don't forget your bee brush. It helps a lot in persuading those same little clusters to get with the program.
8) After you put them in a hive, give the swarm some time to adjust to the new home. Don't be opening the hive every day to "check". They will abscond if they get too much attention from you. Oh, ... and wait a couple of days before you stick a feeder anywhere. They might need it, but then again if there are lotsa blooms they won't bother with a feeder and it may attract pyrates. Theoretically they gorged on honey before they left home, so they'll be okay. Here's where you gotta use your best judgment.
9) Take lots of pictures. And keep a little notebook so you can remember stuff you did.
10) It's prolly too early in the year yet for martinis after you get them into their new hive, so ... warm up with this.