Well it's day seven now since I hived my package of bees. I made a couple of mistakes in the process... namely when I put the queen cage in I forgot to take the cork out. And of course I didn't realize it until I had it all closed up again. So I opened it back up and got the queen cage out... and is there a special trick to getting the cork out? It sure seemed kind of hard to grab a hold of, since it didn't stick out any and was wedged in there nice and snug. I tried to take it out with some needle nose pliers which didn't really work to well. Trying to get a grip on the cork I ended up actually pushing it into the cage. At which point I realized I was opening the wrong end...
Well the damage had been done and since the package seemed to have already accepted the queen I went ahead and direct released her into the hive. I stuck the open queen cage between a couple of the top bars hanging down and closed it up again. Then later that night I started thinking that I should have let her crawl out into the hive and removed the queen cage right then so they didn't start building comb around it. So I went back out around 10:30pm and got the queen cage out. They seemed pretty docile at that time of night... guess maybe they were worn out from a long couple of days travel lol. I had a torch with me but alas I must have accidentally stepped on one of the girls because she stung me on the side of my foot. My first bee sting ever, and on the first day I got my bees!
I've been looking in on them from the observation port on the side and around day 3 I could see three fresh combs they were drawing out, two of them probably two thirds of the way to the bottom of the hive and the other one much smaller. The field bees have been bringing in loads of pollen... some of them coming back with bulging loads and some of them with little tiny loads. I've also noticed that the field bees are much more accurate and quick with landing and entering the hive.
I've been hesitant to open the hive and disturb them too much. They've stayed in a big ball around the combs they are drawing out and I feel like if I disturb them by pulling bars out it's just going to impede their progress. But I may pull a few bars tonight just to make sure everything is going well and also see if the queen is laying yet.
Here is the comb as of three days ago:
And this is the way they've been staying (and why I'm hesitant to start pulling up bars and disturbing them):
So far they don't seem to mind me getting up close (of course I haven't started digging into their home yet!)