I did a newspaper combine of 2 hives (single deeps with 4-5 frames of full and partially drawn comb each) that seemed to me to be queenless. I mean, I looked ALL OVER for the queen and never found her. Destroyed some supercedure cells. Probably spent a good 10-20 minutes on each hive. At the same time, I introduced the new queen in her JZBZ cage into the lower deep.

I come back 3 days later, and they've eaten through the newspaper. Check on the queen- she is still alive, and the candy is partially eaten. There are about 6-8 bees crawling all over the cage. They seem pretty excited.

I release her from the cage and drop her onto the top of the frames. She seems pretty freaked out. Immediately flies off, ending up underneath the screened bottom board. So I set the bottom deep aside, get the bottom board, and there she is underneath, with a bunch of bees who are not balling her or anything.

I shake her and the bees down onto the deep, and thats the last I see of her.

Does this sound like normal queen acceptance behavior? I was surprised she flew off- like she was a classy chick who had just walked into a biker bar and thought she was going to end up as Mad Dog's moll if she didn't split FAST.

Do bees ball the cage? Do they immediately ball the queen on release? I read here that a queen who seems like she's skittish when introduced is a sign that she will be balled.