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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, first time BK here.

Got my packages in the mail 2 days ago, installed about 48 hours ago. What Mr. Bush says about the queen cage had me so nervous about cross combing that I decided to remove the queen cage from one of the hives this evening. I broke off what probably amounted to their day's work while taking out the queen cage. I couldn't re-attach it so I set it down for the them to forage in the morning.

I am freaking out, did I just doom this hive? The queen was out of the cage.

I placed a baggie feeder at the bottom at the same time and plan to not recheck for 2 weeks.

Please advise!

Thanks
 

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No you did not but push the frames together and center in the hive. But you need to feed feed feed to help draw out comb if you are starting with new foundation. This is where a boardman feeder and an entrance reducer will help. Good luck with the Bees. I Just hived a 4.5 lb swarm this am and they are busy as can bee.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about the broken comb. I had a hive get upturned by the wind and all of the top bars were scattered. This happened just 20 hours after I hived the package. Two weeks later this hive is only a little behind in development compared to my other hive that was installed at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've read that the queen is blamed for bad things when they happen immediately. When should I recheck the hive?
 

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You should watch the entrance and see if they are bringing back pollen. It might take two more days before that start on that. (feed feed feed) don't worry about getting honey this first year. If you can wait another week, get a peek then. I'm a first year keeper and I am constantly itching to get in there and see what the girls are up to. I'm rationing my self to once a week.
 

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I did the same thing getting the queen cage out, and mine were perfectly fine. It's been a year now. They made it through the winter and are going crazy with the nectar flow. I panicked too, but try to relax. They really can make more comb very quickly, and I'd do what bugman said, feed them to make sure they don't have to struggle. You could check them in five days to a week because, if you're like me, you won't be able to stand waiting any more anyway! Good look and happy beekeeping!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you so much for the reassurance-I couldn't believe how much comb they made in 1 day.

I put baggie feeders behind the divider (two holes in the divider) and they didn't really touch it. This time I put the baggie feeder directly below them. Is that okay?
 

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I don't think that will be a problem now. I think that most people put the baggie feeder behind the divider so they won't disturb the hive when they replace the empty baggie with a new one. Later on there won't be room in there for the baggie.
 

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I put a baggie on the bee side in one of our new packages. Just about 3/4 of a quart bag to start them. Didn't feed them after that. They have about 8 full bars and a couple partials right now. Pretty much built out to what they can cover. Emergence starting next week Tuesday-Wednesday. Will be exciting to see how much comb they build with new bees.
 

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I tried to feed mine when I first got them, but they never touched it. When I researched it, lots of people said that if there's a good flow, they prefer nectar to sugar water, and I guess they can get it just as easily. Made sense to me! You can always leave it there for a bit to make sure they don't want it. Just keep an eye out for ants.
 

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You'll probably want to remove the bag some time between a week and two weeks. The sugar syrup will begin to ferment. I don't think it is deleterious to the bees. But, it is wasted space.
 

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Hi, first time BK here.

Got my packages in the mail 2 days ago, installed about 48 hours ago. What Mr. Bush says about the queen cage had me so nervous about cross combing that I decided to remove the queen cage from one of the hives this evening. I broke off what probably amounted to their day's work while taking out the queen cage. I couldn't re-attach it so I set it down for the them to forage in the morning.

I am freaking out, did I just doom this hive? The queen was out of the cage.

I placed a baggie feeder at the bottom at the same time and plan to not recheck for 2 weeks.

Please advise!

Thanks

I have never had a problem just releasing the new queen directly into the hive (with a new package). The bees already have her scent after 48 hours, never had a hive reject one yet. If you are re-queening an old hive I suggest you let the bees release her from the cage.
 

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This may sound strange, but – we all should politely bear in mind that most bee colonies live in ... trees, walls, stumps, and so on. Doing so, by-the-by, with absolutely no "help" from human beings.

Well-intentioned though it might be to want to "observe" them and to "help" them – by constantly intervening first this way and that – it may well be that the best thing to do is simply to leave them completely alone for many weeks at a time. If there are flowers out there, they'll find them. If there's water, they'll find it too. (Although I provide a chicken-feeder with rounded rocks for them to land on, and I keep it full of water all summer.) They don't need your sugar-water. They certainly don't need your endless pesticides. In short, they don't need you to try to out-guess them. They do need you to support them, in the rather artificial situation you've chosen to put them into, but even then, only a little.

Did you really "screw up big?" Probably not. Trust the bees. Trust Nature.

Leave your new hive completely alone for the next month. Honest! Visit them every day, admire them, marvel at them. But, don't intervene. Let them build their comb (however they want to), raise their first crop of brood, and, in about a month's time, be prepared to remove the follower-boards to let them have access to the full extent of your hive. Trust the bees to be able to survive and prosper, without your sugar-water, without your adjustments, without your anything-at-all. Especially for the first month after package-install.
 
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