were still on the ground where I left them this morning. They must have some really lazy scout bees. As they were still in a cluster than means the queen must be with them – without her pheromone influence they’d have drifted back to the original hive. So opened the nuc box, confirmed it was indeed devoid of bees, picked up a plant pot which was providing a perch for the biggest cluster and gave them a shake.
As luck would have it I actually saw the queen go in. I quickly brushed the remaining bees off the side of the box so they wouldn’t get squished and put the lid back on.
In principle as their queen is in there, the swarm should follow – but then this swarm hasn’t done anything the way it’s supposed to so far.
An afterword about the sting count – I don’t set out to get stung! I’m inexperienced and although I do wear a suit and veil, bees as it turns out are absolute buggers for finding every available gap, loose cuff or improperly tucked in trouser leg – and I’m not good at tucking in, stings don’t bother me much so I don’t have painful reminders to double check. I am improving though, honest.