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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm a brand new beekeeper in Massachusetts. I hived my first package this past Friday. And I opened the hive today, three days later, to verify that the queen had been let out. I lifted the queen cage out of the hive. It was covered in bees, and I couldn't see the queen, so I put the cage outside the hive on the bottom board to look for eggs. After not finding them, I noticed lots of bees had left the hive and walked to the queen cage, now sitting on the front step of the hive. I picked it up, looked harder, and sure enough, there she was, still inside the cage. The bees otherwise seem fine. They have drawn some comb. Not much, but some. They have stored some syrup and pollen.

My question is: what do I do now? How long do I wait before checking again? I used smoke, probably more than I should have, I guess out of nervousness.

I'm not sure if this affects how long they take to let her out, but it's been about 50 degrees during the day and in the thirties every night since they were hived. Today was 70.

Any information that you can offer would be really appreciated.


Thanks in advance,
Marc
 

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Marc - first thing is first. What type of queen cage was she in california mini, Standard Southern, or plastic? The cali mini normally comes with a single cork end you have to put some kind of marshmallow into or queen candy, the standard southern normally comes with queen candy in one end and two corks, and the plastic, well you can tell. If your bees followed her to the landing board, you can go ahead and direct release her into the hive. Open it up, pull a couple frames out, uncork the queen cage and put a finger tip over her hole, then lower it to the bottom of the frame and release her onto the frames. Good idea would be to do this in the middle of the hive. Then instead of pushing frames back down in and chancing hurting her, just move frames over from side and put the extras back in on the outside.
 

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Marc, did you remove the plug at the end of the cage. if so a nail hole through the candy end may help. be careful not to
hit the queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The queen cage is the southern, I guess. Two corks, one candy end. I did remove the cork on the candy end, and placed that end up. I did not put a hole through the candy. How long should I wait before entering the hive again?

I can't believe how quickly you all responded. This forum is awesome. Thanks so much!
 

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Also, don't be afraid to use smoke. Gently rolling smoke over them works wonders, just don't puff it full force on to them. When you place your smoker down, let the wind carry it across the hive. If you give them too much, they will get runny, but that's no big deal. Just back off on the smoke a bit at that point. Too much is way better than not enough in my opinion. (But then again I like to work without gloves and in a tee shirt.)
Luke
 

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Marc did you get your package from warm colors? Because i live in mass and hived my new package on friday as well. I checked my queen 2 1/2 days after hiving and she is about a day away from being free.
 

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i was the guy with a scion in the tee shirt freezing. all i did with her was check to see if she was out. they did make a nice hole so i guess in a days time she will be out. i live in ludlow mass but my bees r located in brimfield.
 

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Im like drlonzo, if you are worried and they are obviously tending to her through the cage do a direct release. If you do use the nail trick, have a steady hand. Have heard of heartbreak more than once. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, everyone, for all of your replies. I guess the only thing I have unanswered is when I should check back in. I'm not sure I should disturb them again so soon. If I find that she still has not been freed, I will go ahead and direct release her.
 

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Supposed to be 70° today, go back in and release her or at least open up the candy if it isn't already opened. I would direct release her but be careful she doesn't fly. Put the opening between the top bars directed down and put the cover back on. She'll come right out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All, I didn't make it back into the hive until today. I found that the queen had been freed but I found no sign of her or eggs. What should I do? I removed the cage, removed burr comb, and added my tenth frame.
 
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