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Tried something new this year and don't understand the results at all.
I bought some Carniolan bee packages and instead of dumping the bees I was told to take out 5 frames and just put the open package box in the hive. I turned the queens loose and on the next day went back to remove the boxes and 3 out of 5 had left the hives and swarmed. 2 of the 3 left the queen behind and the 3rd was entirely gone. The other two packages were in their hives, but they were balling their queens and I had to remove them. Can someone tell me what is going on? I have caught the swarming packages, but don't know what to do with them either. Help someone please.
 

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If those packages had been put together very shortly before you got them, likely the bees had not accepted the queens yet, and simply absconded. We get ours from Kelley, and they get them overnight, so the queens have only been in the package for maybe 48 hrs when I pick them up. Shipped is less of a problem.

There is also always the possibility that there is a virgin queen in that package, and if that is the case they will simply not accept a foreign queen. Hard to believe all of the package had a virgin though.

I always dump the majority of the bees out and hang the queen cage between frames. Using some old drawn comb helps quite a bit with packages, as does a frame of brood and some stores from another hive if possible. I leave the queen in the cage and let the bees release her, seems to work better.

Even so, we installed three packages this year, and my brother had left-overs from a dead-out and stocked his up, is putting on another box today. My package, on old comb and foundation only, offed their queen and made a new one. You just never know.

Peter
 

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Leaving the cage in the hive body is never a good idea as you found. Strange queen and strange space did not equal home. Get that box out of the others ASAP. It will result in a mass of irregular comb that can not be straightened out and only waste the bees resources. Be more careful who you listen to please.
 

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I never like to direct release the queens. I see people recommending it here sometimes, I never quite understand what the rush is to get the queen out of the queen cage? Even if they have been together for 3-4 days. A lot of the times new beekeepers are putting bees in brand new equipment with brand new frames and foundation. It smells nothing like a bee hive other than the little bit of wax on the foundation. Even if the bees have accepted the queen in the cage by making them go through the trouble of eating the candy away to release the queen will allow them enough time to settle in and start building comb. Once they have started comb the chance they will abscond goes way down. It only takes an extra 2-3days for the bees to eat the candy out releasing the queen. So why take the chance of direct release.
 

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Balling and leaving caged queens behind indicates that there was a queen in the cluster of bees. Sometimes loose queens get in when packages are shook. Re-install without the caged queens and lock them in the hive with feed jars on.
 

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Hi, Yellow Bee. I used this method with my first (and only) hive this year and while the bees did stay, and get their queen out of the cage, I didn't feel overwhelmed by the idea that this was somewhat "easier" than shaking. The hive body on my TBH was more than big enough to accommodate the box, but all in all, having to rip open the whole thing to get the box back out felt very odd. One thing that might have worked in my favor is that the bees were kept an additional day in the package by bad weather -- the overnight flight was grounded in Louisiana, so they had an extra day to get used to one another.

And, fwiw, the recommendation for this install method came directly from the apiary (Bee Weaver), who very kindly exchanged several emails with me despite having so many requests for help from new beekeepers that they've had to form a new system for dealing with all the questions. From their years in the business to their helpful videos and quite excellent service, I do not feel I incautiously listened to the wrong people.
 

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I think you will have better results if you shake them into the hive. You also have better results if the hive either has some lemongrass essential oil in it (four drops) or it smells like bees (a used hive). Even better if you have some old brood comb in it. If you want better insurance you can add an excluder between the bees and the exit so the queen can't leave. Your problems were not related to them not accepting the queen, they didn't accept the box. And part of that maybe that the space was all broken up by the package you put in the hive. If you really want to not shake them in (and I think shaking them in is useful in many ways including setting off more nasonoving which makes the box smell more like Nasonov) then I would put an extra box on and put the package in the bottom box.

No matter how you go about this things can go wrong. If you leave the queen in the cage sometimes the cluster goes somewhere the queen isn't on a cold night and the queen dies from cold and starvation because the bees assume that she will follow them to the main cluster. Sometimes they abscond and leave the queen behind in the cage to die (usually moving into a queenright colony nearby). People are always saying you should do a candy release because "that's why they queen has candy in the cage" yet I haven't seen a candy cage in a package in 15 years... maybe YOU have candy in your cage, I don't, but that doesn't mean you have to use it either. Sometimes when you are direct releasing the queen flies. There is no foolproof method.

In my experience the main reason to release the queen is so they don't build that first important comb hanging from the queen cage. With foundation this is just a bit of a waste. With foundationless this can create a disaster where that messed up comb repeats itself as they expand and it's very difficult to fix.

All of this is easier when you have drawn comb and a hive that smells like bees. Then you can hang a queen cage in the center at the top (the safest place for a caged queen) between two drawn combs and they will not be so inclined to build a comb between those as they have some drawn comb. I would still just release her, but you would have that option to hang the cage without so many inherent risks...

Even in these circumstances they often abandon the queen and move next door to a different queen who makes better pheromones...
 
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