Extract from Robert Huish's book "Bees: Their Natural History and General Management" 1844
A swarm may be thrown off at a most unexpected period; in which case, there are several vessels and utensils, which may be used in the interim, until a proper hive can be obtained. A pail, a box, or even a large flower pot will enable the proprietor to retain the swarm. We once knew of an old woman, who not having any other utensil at hand, took one from under her bed; but as it happened to be glazed inside, the bees could not obtain a footing in it, and they foresook their unique habitation in search of better.
Ownership of swarms
On the subject of whose property a swarm may be an Editor's addendum reads as follows; "There is an old absolute law in our statute book, which prohibits a person, under a certain penalty, from placing an empty hive in his garden. This law was no doubt founded on the probability of the swarms of other persons taking possession of the empty hive, and thus the rightful owner was deprived of his property!