I picked up 2, 3lb packages Saturday morning, from the local PO. They called and said they had arrived and that about 10 to 20 had gotten out of the cages. When I arrived to pick them up, I looked for holes, (I was putting them in the front seat with me), and found none. I can only assume the ones on the outside were attracted to the queen and were picked up along the way.
Once I got them home, about 10am, it was thunder storming with high winds. I got them into the house, into a closed off room that stays cool and dark. They quieted down after about 20 mins. The thunder, lightning, rain and wind just got worse as the day went on and I had to wait until Sunday evening to get the in the 2 TB hives. I was worried the queen had died, (they shipped Thursday), or the can feeders were out but, each can was still less than half full and both queens were alive. Each queen cage had a dead attendant so I hope the colony will release her. I removed the cork, punctured the candy and hung her between the 5th and 6th frame. I lightly sprayed the packaged bees with sugar water, (they sounded really angry at this point), then bounced them to the bottom and lifted and poured them in between TB 7 and 11. I had already put a quart baggie feeder, 1:1 sugar/water in the back of the hive. I got all but a handful in the hive and remembered that I didn't use any followers. They were both against the far end. Oh well, I couldn't pick up the feeder, it wanted to leak, badly. I just brushed the stragglers in and put the bars back in. My directions said to stuff the entrance with green grass, lightly for the first day, so I did so reluctantly. I wondered how the remaining girls would get in from the package. I waited over and hour and the remaining bees had formed a beard, half the size of my fist, inside the package. I would knock them loose and almost immediately they would beard again. I wasn't removing the bars at this point. The second hive went about the same, except, all but 1 or 2 found the entrance and went in. All this was at about 6:30. It wasn't until about 7:30, that I left them. I came back out about 8:30 and they had removed all the grass filler from both hives and were quiet.
Now I have to decide one of the most discussed topics on the forum, whether to replace another baggie feeder when they are empty and, when to look. I guess when I check to see if the queen has been released.
Within 10 feet of my hives, there is so much honey suckle vines blooming that their scent is overwhelming. The pines had so much pollen 3 weeks ago that we had yellow fog. The wild muscadines have little clusters of future fruit on them and the local news says the pollen alert will be 10 out of 10 this week, since Saturdays rain.
Any advice on feeding, (you all knew the question was coming).
I would have had picks but my wife ran to the house when she saw bees, "crawling all over me", as she put it. I didn't wear any protective clothing. Just kacky pants and bright white long sleeve shirt. They were on me from my head, ears, up my sleeves, I forgot tape, and everywhere else but, they didn't show any aggression towards me ay all.
Thank everyone thus far for the advise and tips.