Try to be brief here:
Hive came out of winter VERY strong. Swarmed to nearby apple tree 10 days ago. Couldn’t reach swarm safely, watched them go.
Tons of bees still in my hive. Swarmed again yesterday, just made it 6 feet from the hive, partially on the ground and on two landscape timbers that surround my bee yard.
Set out Top Bar Nuc box, smoked and gathered as many bees as I could and put in box. They seemed to stay, but others did not immediately join. Was evening. Remaining bees clustered over both sides of landscape timbers and I believe there must be a queen in the crack of the two timbers.
I had put an empty comb from the old hive in the nuc box and I really think the bees I put in the box stayed in there cuz there are not near as many in the cluster on the timber as there were before I scooped.
Can’t reach between those timbers to get queen/bees so I’m thinking just leave the nuc set and hope the rest go in sometime today.
SO QUESTION: If the majority of the rest go in the box do I immediately plug it, strap down the top and haul and install in my target top bar? Or do a I wait until evening, a few days…need a time line. When does the virgin queen go out on her mating flight? I don’t want to leave them sit there too long and haul them away not realizing that I don’t have the queen.