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If the weather isn't too cold I lay the cage on the bottom, screen up and dump the package on top of her. This way they don't build comb around her. Otherwise, if they've been in there with her a couple days, you can usually direct release her without issue and then you don't have to worry about the queen cage at all.

Matt
 

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Cacklewack, that's exactly what I plan to do tomorrow except that I'm going to remove the cork from the non candy end and put a small piece of marshmallow in the hole. A small enough piece to where they should get it out in minutes, not hours or days. I think I'll also place the queen cage on its side with the screen facing my observation window. That way I can see if the queen is out without having to remove cover and top bars.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Perfect, thanks for the advice. I will also point it towards the observation window so I can see when the queen is out.

Stephen
 

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I hang the queen low enough that the cage won't interfere with initial comb building but high enough to remain in the cluster. If there are attendant bees, point the candy plug up so that if any of them die, the exit won't be plugged by a dead bee.
 
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