I just did something very bad to my new hive, at the worst time for them.
It's a new package, installed a little less than a month ago, into a 8-frame medium with Mann PF-120's. I had just put the second medium on last week, and they haven't started drawing it yet. The bees from the first eggs should be starting to emerge tomorrow or the next day. So, the population is at its lowest.
A few hours ago I got into the hive for an inspection. When I lifted the (mostly empty) medium hive body up off of the populated medium, it brought four frames from the lower box. They were glued to the upper frames with bridge comb. I'm sure some girls got squished, because it never occured to me that I had frames hanging off the bottom...
Anyway, I realized what had happened. I feared that the hanging frames would come unstuck and fall into (onto) the hive box. Trying not to panic, I moved the whole mess aside, and rested the bottoms of the frames on the grass. Before I could figure out how to stabilize them, they did come loose. They leaned up against each other, and toppled over onto their sides. Perfect motion for rolling all the bees between them.
And, of course, they were the four frames that made up the brood nest.
I scrambled into my full suit (I had been wearing only a veil) and reassembled the hive. It didn't look like many of the brood cells got damaged, thankfully. I assume, however, that the queen was squished.
Now, three hours later, the bees have calmed down a bit. The are still coming and going, like before. There are a few outside the entrance beating their wings. I don't know if it's temperature control or scenting.
If I did kill the queen I'm inclined to replace her, so that this fledgling hive won't have a long setback getting another queen going. How long should I wait, before going into the hive and checking to see if the queen is alive or not? How long will it take them to start an emergency queen cell? And, when I install the new queen, I assume I just remove any emergency cells at the same time?
Anyone have a suggestion where I might get a queen right away? I'm in northern Nevada...
Thanks for listening to me freak out,