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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all,
Brand new to beekeeping and just installed a package for the first time. I have been reading the posts and comments on this forum for a while and have been overwhelmed by the knowledge present. My first question is "How long should I wait to open the hive and remove the queen cage and check the progress of the colony?"
I don't know what info you would need to advise me here but in short...
10 frame langstroth medium, hive top feeder
Foundationless frames
direct release of the queen (going foundationless)

Thanks for any advice
 

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Need to know how long ago you installed the package? If it is more than three days, My advice is to pop the lid and see if she is released. If she is, make sure all those foundation frames are tight together. See if they have drawn any comb. Do you have feed on them? They need it while just starting out, if they are making a living on their own, a week of rain will starve them to death before they have time to get some feed stored.

If your queen is not released from the cage and she has been in there longer than three days, I would pull three outside frames and stick my hands holding the queen cage down to the bottom and release her so she runs under the bottom bars and doesn't fly away. Best of luck and good job not wearing out the cover!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Should have been more specific. Installed them today. I am feeding them a 1:1 sugar syrup with the hive top feeder from Walter Kelley. Three days is what I was also told by the beekeeper I got the package from but it never hurts to get some reassurance. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Haven't joined an association yet. I attended a seminar in New Haven last year. The bees came from AZApiaries out of Hampton. He got them from Wilbanks (sp?) out of GA. I am regretting starting with just one hive. Most people have encouraged two for comparison purposes. I may see if he has any more packages available this year.
 

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Ok, from what i read, you did a Direct Release of your queen into the hive. This alone will take away the need to crack the hive at the 3 day mark to remove the cage. However, if you are going foundationless as stated, you MUST feed your bees 1:1 syrup to give them something to draw wax with. Second, you have to be ready to fix the combs. Bees don't always draw comb the way you want it, nor where you want it. So one of the first things you will want to do is wait about 3 days and check to make sure they are pulling the wax where they should, if not FIX IT fast. From there you will have to make sure to fix any messed up comb ASAP. Now one of the things you need to know for sure is this. Make sure your hive is LEVEL from side to side as you are looking at it from the back. This will ensure they draw the wax straight DOWN inside the frames when the comb is in line. Your hive can be out of level from front to back, front usually ends up being an inch lower for most people as condensation in winter will kill your bees if it is dropping down the middle, so most beeks fix the hives to be lower on the front to encourage the condensation to come down the front wall and drip on outside. Hope this helps. If not, look up Michael Bush and go to his website. Power house of knowledge..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As of install the hive was level side to side. I think I need a little more forward tilt for winter condensation but that seems very far away right now. So you are saying go in Day 3, pull the empty cage from the bottom board and check/fix comb. Will do.

Btw, Michael Bush website and book are what made me decide mediums and foundationless. He seems like someone who has forgotten more about bees than I will learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah. When I ordered the package I was not exactly sure what I was doing to be honest. I just wanted to be guaranteed some bees. Also, I did not see any local nucs set up for mediums and I was intimidated by the process of rotating out deep frames etc to convert to mediums. Any idea on medium nucs local to CT area?
 

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In the future, if you direct release the queen, don't leave the empty queen cage in your hive. Or anywhere near your hives for that matter. It will still smell like the queen and worker bees will clump up around it instead of drawing comb like they should be doing.
 
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