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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Bees installed in the bee fortress, accidental direct queen release.

    Got my packages today. Didn't get any sleep at all last night so I gave up trying at six AM and drove up to get them. I was so tired when I got home that I all I could manage was to set the packages in the hives and then pass out until the afternoon. Managed to wake up by 5 Pm and start installing. First queen escaped while I was trying to replace the cork with marshmallow but I caught her in my hand and tossed her down into the hive where she quickly burrowed down into the mass of bees. All the other installs went as planned. I have baggie feeders in all hives in addition to entrance feeders (I know, I know but there are what I had) in case its too cold for them to find the entrance feeder for a couple days.

    Its been a couple hours now and all seems to have settled down, only a few dozen bees left in the packages.

    Planning on checking the queens in a couple days. I'm going foundationless so I want to be sure and get the cages out before they screw up the comb.

    One interesting thing, the hive where did the accidental direct release is much more active than the other. It has about three times as many bees at the entrance and the feeder is full of bees, the other hives haven't even found theres yet.

    This was my second install and my first time doing more than one at a time, it was pretty fun. I just wore a veil, no gloves. Managed to pick up a sting on my forearm but that was all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Bees installed in the bee fortress, accidental direct queen release.

    Checked them again just now. 39 and raining and expected to be that way for the next couple days, unless of course it turns to snow.

    The bees are nicely balled up but barely moving and the have sucked the sandwich sized baggies I gave them dry. I filled up new gallon sized baggies with warm syrup and they seemed to get excited about that. It felt like I was giving a baby her nighttime bottle.

    The hives with suspended cages where all mounded up in a single central ball, the one with the renegade queen has two clusters, about equal sized, both at one side of the hive. I'm guessing one has the queen and half the bees and the other one has everyone else? Maybe a warm baggie laid over both will bring them together.

    Man, I love these things.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Windsor, Maine, USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Bees installed in the bee fortress, accidental direct queen release.

    I'm glad you're having good results with the baggie feeders. I've never used them myself. I have a hivetop feeder and a couple of frame feeders. Our weather here (Central Maine) has been rotten the last couple of weeks also. Rain almost every day and it hasn't got much above 50 degrees or so. 30's at night. Believe it or not, we had temps in the 80's around the end of March! Sunday is supposed to be "partly sunny" with a high of 65 degrees, so I guess I'll visit my bees then.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,967

    Default Re: Bees installed in the bee fortress, accidental direct queen release.

    The queen cage will be on the floor and the bees build comb from the top. Don't worry about getting it and stay out of the hive for a few days except toheck feed. The reason that one has more activity is usually because the active one has collected bees from the others. After the queens start laying switch them so the bigger field force goes in the weaker.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Bees installed in the bee fortress, accidental direct queen release.

    The queen cage will be on the floor and the bees build comb from the top
    Not unless the bees have learned how to chew through metal. The cage is suspended from the center frame by the metal tab it came with.

    The reason that one has more activity is usually because the active one has collected bees from the others.
    I haven't seen more than about five bees total in the air since I've installed the packages, its been too cold I seem to have no interest in leaving the hive at all.

    and right now its snowing.....oh joy.

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