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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Henry, Virginia
    Posts
    88

    Default JUST INSTALLED 2 hives!!! Had to go back in with QUEEN ISSUE, please help!?

    I installed 2 hives this evening, temps and sky were perfect, and it was about 7pm. Everything went really well, and we were very fascinated with the whole process! I didn't want it to end! It was amazing to watch, and NO stings to either of us!

    Anyway, we did a brood box, and put a styrofoam feeder on top, then put a inner cover on the feeder for extra safety. Ok, the queen cage, it did NOT have hangers on it, it did have the candy in it, so I did put a nail size hole in it, and it worked great. There were also some attendants in there with her. I wedged it in between the frames, candy side up, and screen to center as all books advised. I did this with both hives. Proceeded to put the top feeder on, inner cover, and telescoping cover, and strapped them for extra support (so nothing can knock them over since the stand legs are cemented in the ground). All took about 20 minutes, and only because I had to stay there and watch them go into the tiny entrance reducer, they were fascinating!

    About an hour or so later, we were sitting there watching them, from a distance, and I started thinking (dangerous). What if the bottom of the top feeder had the top of the queen cage (even with brood box) blocked, and they couldn't get her OUT?????????????????????????????? There is like 1/8" between the feeder and the brood box, and she would be TRAPPED. Keep in mind it was DARK as I was thinking this!

    So we suited BACK up, took our flashlight, and had to go BACK down there, and see if this was a fact.

    Glad I did.

    I opened the first hive, they weren't too thrilled about that, and the queen cage was laying on the bottom board screen side down. I didn't know what to do, other than to turn it over, screen side up, and the candy hole was NOT blocked, and I could see them start to work at the candy to get her out. I was not happy with that, but at least they could get her out.

    THE QUESTION IS, WAS THAT THE RIGHT THING TO DO, AND WILL SHE BE OK WITH THE CAGE BEING ON THE BOTTOM LIKE THAT???????????????????

    We put that hive back together, and proceeded to the next one.

    This one, the cage was still kinda wedged how I left it, but no gap for them to get to her, and get her out, so as I moved to get it, it slipped, and slid to the bottom like the other cage, and I made sure the screen side was up, and the candy hole was starting to be accessed by the workers. I left that one alone and had to be satisfied with it being on the bottom board, but I could see it well.

    DID I DO THE RIGHT THING IN THIS SITUATION????

    I didn't feel like I had any other choice in the dark, and felt like I had let them down a little bit. We managed to get the hive back together, strapped down, and brushed each other off with the bee brush (at least 20 or more followed each of us out, all the way back to the house) LOL They wanted to make sure we KNEW our way out!

    What do yall think?

    Also.....do I go back to check on the queen in 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 days from today????? Some say 3, some say 7. Which is it? Will they have comb all over that queen cage???? Will it be a disaster?

    I can tell you though, they LOVED the syrup that we had made earlier, thanks to this forum.

    Sorry so long, but I am freaking out, and won't sleep well over this

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Henry, Virginia
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: JUST INSTALLED 2 hives!!! Had to go back in with QUEEN ISSUE, please help!?

    BTW, I put a gallon of syrup in each feeder....hope that will last until I do a queen inspection. Do I use smoke on the queen inspection?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,671

    Default Re: JUST INSTALLED 2 hives!!! Had to go back in with QUEEN ISSUE, please help!?

    You'll be fine. That's what I think. Sometimes, we over plan the process. If I had that happen to me, I'd plan on visiting tomorrow afternoon, yanking the queen cages off of the bottom and direct releasing the queen...unless it seemed that they were really cranky about having her there. Generally, that's not the case. So, leaving well enough alone is probably just fine. That's what I think! The real conversation might be on how to best manipulate that queen cage so you don't have the same problem in the future.

    Oh, and I generally don't use smoke on the queen inspection since I'm usually out of there pretty quick. BUT....do what makes you comfortable since spending time, early on, with your bee's makes you a better keeper.
    Last edited by Ravenseye; 04-30-2012 at 08:34 PM. Reason: More info
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    351

    Default Re: JUST INSTALLED 2 hives!!! Had to go back in with QUEEN ISSUE, please help!?

    they'll be just fine,the number of days till queen check varies from person to person. personally i wldn't go back in for atleast five days

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Windsor, Maine, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: JUST INSTALLED 2 hives!!! Had to go back in with QUEEN ISSUE, please help!?

    I'm sure your Queens will be alright. Some people on this forum, who have a lot more experience than you or me, recommend putting them on the bottom board.
    The Queen cage that came with my package had a strip of sheet aluminum about 3 1/2 inches long stapled to the back, which I was able to bend to hook over the top of a frame. In the past I have gotten plastic cages with no hanger. What I do is take a paper clip (a fairly large one) and straighten out one side and bend it down so it's a "T" shape Then bend a hook into the end, insert the hook into one of the holes in the cage and hang it between two frames. Works great.
    The bees will definately build comb on the QC. I would wait no more than 4 days to remove the cage. I checked mine on the third day, and she was out. But even if you wait longer, any comb on the QC will be on the bottom of the hive instead of on your frames, sticking them together. Everything will be OK. Sleep well!
    It seems like a lot of work to strap your hives together, but I guess it can't hurt anything. Most people just put a large brick, or a rock on top of the hive. I've never had a problem with my cover blowing off when using a brick.
    Pretty good fun playing with the bees, isn't it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Henry, Virginia
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: JUST INSTALLED 2 hives!!! Had to go back in with QUEEN ISSUE, please help!?

    Thanks for all of your replies I figure I would go back and check on them maybe thursday during the day time? Between 11am-1pm and see if she has been released. Is that a good time, or should I wait until Friday?

    I am glad to hear you all say they are going to be ok, being on the bottom board. I really hope things turn out well. I was hoping there would be a metal strap for the cage as I had seen in pictures, and it was a plastic strap that was useless, and on the bottom of the corked area.

    I can't wait to go back and check on them, it was extremely FUN for me! I think I am really addicted to this!

    I put a strap on them, because I just don't want something to find a way in there somehow, and take a few swipes and knock everything over. Just scared of stuff like that, even though it has an electric fence.

    Thank you all for taking time to reply to me

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bon Aqua, Tn USA
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: JUST INSTALLED 2 hives!!! Had to go back in with QUEEN ISSUE, please help!?

    I put my package in on a Wednesday evening and released the queen from her cage on Friday morning and they have been doing great.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,583

    Default Re: JUST INSTALLED 2 hives!!! Had to go back in with QUEEN ISSUE, please help!?

    There is a commercial beekeeper on the forum who installs hundreds of packages every year. He places the queen cages on the bottom boards, with a hole in the candy.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,671

    Default Re: JUST INSTALLED 2 hives!!! Had to go back in with QUEEN ISSUE, please help!?

    Sure, Thursday will be fine. So will Friday. Make it a time that works good for you and enjoy working with the bee's. Then, tell us how those queens are looking!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: JUST INSTALLED 2 hives!!! Had to go back in with QUEEN ISSUE, please help!?

    Your bees should be fine. I would remove the inner cover. Not needed on top of a hive top feeder.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: JUST INSTALLED 2 hives!!! Had to go back in with QUEEN ISSUE, please help!?

    " I wedged it in between the frames, candy side up, and screen to center as all books advised."

    I don't know why so many books and special instructions say that. [Without a warning or caveat]. This may work OK. for frames that are already drawn out, and have a layer of propolis and wax to help stabilize them on the frame rests. With fresh new woodenware, any little bump or jarring of the hive might cause the frames to move slightly. This probably happened while you were strapping the hives and the queen cage fell. By midsummer, the thin layer of propolis and wax will provide some stickiness and stabillity. Remember to have your frames parallel and tight together in the center of the box before closing up after inspections.

    The daytime/nightime temperatures in Virginia should be warm enough at this time of year for the queen cage to be left on the bottom board.

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