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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I put in a new package on Thursday evening. I removed the cork over the candy in the queen cage and hung it from the 3rd top bar back from the top entrance. I think I made a mistake because I hung it with the candy hole pointing down corked hole up. When I got into the hive again on Monday morning (almost 4 days later) to check the bees had built lots of comb in the hive starting from the back near the dividing board but not near the queen. The queen was still in the cage not released. All her attendants were dead in the cage at the bottom. It looked like they had tried to eat the candy out from the inside but none of the candy was eaten from the outside. Could this be because the candy hole was facing down toward the bottom and maybe the worker bees in the hive couldn't or could it be they didn't want to release her at all for some reason? I direct released her into the bottom of the hive and closed it up. I am a bit worried though that they didn't try to release her. Also curious how all the attendants could die since they had access to food aka candy. Would it be they didn't get water or just worked themselves to death trying to free her (I suspect the later). Obviously I should have gone in to check on her sooner lesson learned for next time. Also the dead bees clogging the exit area due to gravity I think I should have hung it with the candy hole pointing up but would like confirmation.
 

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I would think you could/should release her now. you may need to uncork the end that has no sugar in it. She's been in since thursday?

You could uncork it. Hold your finger over the hole. and set it on the bottom of the hive to let her walk out.

there is alot of info in beesource about direct release. I just tried my first one this week.
 

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I had a similar situation with the bees not clustering near the queen that I hanged in there. I would see how the bees react to her when you put her (still caged) near the cluster. I'm not 100% sure, but it also seems strange that all of her attendants died. How lively does the queen seem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys I direct released her yesterday afternoon. JW I wish I had thought to put the cage near the cluster to see what they would do but I am new to this and kind of panicked when I saw her still in there and the attendants dead. She seemed pretty lively though still moving around a lot. I put her in the hive all I can do is wait now. It is raining here today in East TN but I have an observation window may check in there this afternoon to see if I can see her she is marked with blue on her back pretty easy to see.
 

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Thanks guys I direct released her yesterday afternoon. JW I wish I had thought to put the cage near the cluster to see what they would do but I am new to this and kind of panicked when I saw her still in there and the attendants dead. She seemed pretty lively though still moving around a lot. I put her in the hive all I can do is wait now. It is raining here today in East TN but I have an observation window may check in there this afternoon to see if I can see her she is marked with blue on her back pretty easy to see.
I did the EXACT same thing with the package I installed 4/5. They clustered up around her when we installed and were clustered around her a few hours later going into the night. The next morning she was abandoned five bars away (California Mini Cage no attendants) with maybe one or two bees on the outside of the cage. I panicked, popped the cage open and hand released her near the cluster and then closed it back up.

She must have been "not right"/rejected from the beginning, because the hive never behaved in a manor that indicated they had a queen. 11 days later and not a single spec of comb built, cluster just sat in the hive all day. They ate very little syrup, left only to relieve themselves, and were pretty much listless.

11 days after install I got a replacement queen. They were excited to see her. We hanged her cage in there and came back four days later to find two decent size combs started and eggs. The morning after the install there were bees out and about and bringing in pollen. That's when I had a pretty good feeling they had accepted her.

As far as looking into the window tonight, I'm not saying "don't do it"... but there's about a 0% chance you'll see her.

Have the bees been bringing in any pollen?

Here are a couple videos of my hive...
Introducing the new queen to the hive:

Video after four days:
http://youtu.be/kadSffiXp1A

Here's the thread I started on here, it departed greatly from it's original question... but there's some pretty good information there I think from quite a few helpful folks:
http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?295865-Clustering-Festooning-on-quot-honey-bars-quot
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Glad your hive is working out JW. Yes they have been bringing in pollen and have built 3 pretty good bars of comb with pollen stored in it. I heard that was a good thing but not sure how it relates to having a queen. Could it be there was another mated queen in the package?
 

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Glad your hive is working out JW. Yes they have been bringing in pollen and have built 3 pretty good bars of comb with pollen stored in it. I heard that was a good thing but not sure how it relates to having a queen. Could it be there was another mated queen in the package?
I'm not speaking from knowledge here... but I think comb and pollen is a good indication that the hive is moving in the right direction. I'm not exaggerating when I say the package did NOTHING for ten days. According to Joseph Clements in the thread I linked above... he said something like "a queenless cluster would have to be enormous to get any comb built".

From what I had read (after seeing what Joseph Clements posted), the queen's pheramones drive foraging and comb building behavior. That's not to say that a queenless hive will never do those things, but I think starting from the package is "unique" compared to an existing hive with brood suddenly going queenless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I hope you are right about the queen's pheromones driving foraging and comb building if that is the case maybe I am over reacting. Here is the video of my son and I doing our first inspection on Monday (4 days after the release) where I find the queen still in the cage. You can see when I pull the cage up there are no bees at all on it which had me worried but she was fine inside it. You can also see in this video the comb they had already built. I stupidly had put the feeder jar on inside the divider wall and they had built comb on it but we managed to cut the comb off of it and save pretty much all of it. I re-filled the feeder and put it on the outside of the divider with a hole for them to get to it through the divider. You can't see it in this video but I also direct released the queen into the hive from her cage and closed it up again:

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You haven't seen any eggs yet, Adam?
No I didn't check for eggs on Monday since the queen was still in her cage I just assumed there wouldn't be any yet. Maybe I should give it a look tomorrow and also look for the queen we released. I did glance at the combs and see pollen but didn't inspect closely since I knew the queen was caged still.
 

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Yeah, ideally it would have been good to see if there were eggs while she were caged... that would obviously tell you everything you needed to know. If you go in there looking I wouldn't be worried about finding the queen. Just pull combs until you find eggs and then button it back up. Of course if there is the marked queen running around in there and you happen see her, great. Or if you happen to see an unmarked queen and good laying pattern, also great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah that would have been good if I only had thought of that. Well almost everything is a learning experience with this gig huh.
 
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