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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy all. New to beekeeping, but have been interested for a few years now. I installed my first package yesterday (late start due to weather). Today the only activity I see are a few dead bees outside, and 3 live bees doing that Nasonov fanning thing. No visible flying bees, but it is cold and drizzly. They have a frame feeder in there, hopefully they are hard at work, I can hear a quiet humming from the hive. Tomorrow will be cool & rainy also, so I plan to wait until Monday afternoon, 72 hours after installing, before I open it up to see if the queen is released.

A few things I noticed that I hadn't read or heard about - The queen cage was absolutely mobbed, I had to keep brushing off the dozens of bees that were hitch-hiking on her cage when I pulled it out. Does that mean they already accepted her, or was it aggression, I wonder ? I also think they accepted the hive very quick, there were bees doing that fanning on the top cover and by the entrance, within minutes after everything was closed up.

Can't wait to see how they're doing !
 

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From your description all sound well.
I'm sure you remembered to pull the plug blocking the candy end of the queen cage, right :)
Keep feeding them as they need to build comb for the queen to lay in when she is released. And keep feeding until they don't take it anymore.
They are hard at work, setting up the house.
Those bees on the queen cage were surrounding her to take care of her and it sounds like they accepted her during the trip from wherever they originated.
If she is not released when you check you're probably safe to release her, and then let them alone except to feed them.
When the weather gets better some of the older bees will begin foraging for pollen and nectar.

What kind of hive and are they on new frames or drawn?
Exciting stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
From your description all sound well.
I'm sure you remembered to pull the plug blocking the candy end of the queen cage, right :)
Yes I did pull the cork on the candy end of the cage. She sure seemed eager, it reminded me of my dog dancing at the door to be let out.

Those bees on the queen cage were surrounding her to take care of her and it sounds like they accepted her during the trip from wherever they originated.
If she is not released when you check you're probably safe to release her, and then let them alone except to feed them.
When the weather gets better some of the older bees will begin foraging for pollen and nectar.

What kind of hive and are they on new frames or drawn?
Exciting stuff!
It's a 10 frame medium Langstroth on new frames - so their first priority should be drawing comb I expect.

Today there are a few dozen bees coming out, it looks like orientation flights - they seem to have a tendency to return and land on the top cover then take a few tries to find the entrance ? It may not help that there's a worker sitting on the top cover fanning ? It's still overcast and cool, but at least the more intrepid workers seem to be doing their thing.

I'll take a peek tomorrow and make sure her highness is free and top off the feeder. How much syrup does a newly hived package usually go through when it's drawing all new comb ?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I took a look after 3 days, and the queen was out of her cage. Bees were thickly covering the two center frames, and there was a crowd at the frame feeder and the pollen patty I stuck in on top of the frames. I didn't actually see the queen, but I didn't do much manipulation. If the weather permits, I'll take a look tomorrow (1 week after installation). I goofed up by not putting in the last empty frame, so there is incorrect spacing in there, hopefully the bees haven't "customized" the extra space.

I've seldom ever been so impatient with the weather. Just my luck to start with bees in a year with a long dragging out winter and a cold rainy start to spring. On the 2 decent days in the 1st week, bees were busy flying in and out, forming a traffic jam, since I have the entrance restricted to about 1" wide. Today it's cold and drizzly, with only 1 or 2 bees per minute going in or coming out.
 

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mabowers59>>
sounds like you and your bees are on the right track!
Keep the feed on them, they'll take a bunch like a quart or more a day.

You don't have to find the queen to be sure all is well as seeing eggs, larvae, capped pupae are all signs things are well with the queen without actually finding her. You are probably too early for capped brood but you might find some larvae if they have drawn any comb for the queen to lay in. Get that last frame in the hive, and a small entrance at this stage is good.
I would even wait a bit longer to to do anything more than feed them sugar water or more pollen patty. Let them settle in, build comb and the give the queen a chance to lay. Waiting 10 days or so is not waiting to long.

It sounds like you're really enjoying your bees.
 
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