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