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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hooray! After a three-week wait on the California weather, I finally got my packages yesterday! I installed both packages with no problems (or stings), and left the cork in the queen cage (based on advice from local beekeeper). I'm going back this afternoon to remove the cork and let them get the queens out, then come back next week and remove the queen cages. I am quite excited! It was fun watching the girls fanning in front of the hive, and cleaning out the dead bees from the hive, just as everyone here has described.
Thanks for all the info here. I look forward to posting some of my own "dumb" questions!
Steve
 

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You are probably OK doing the release now, but I'd check the bees behavior toward her first. If they are biting at the cage you should wait. If you see their tongues reaching into the cage they have accepted her. They probably have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, it looks like they are feeding her, so that's good. However, I was removing the metal band from the cage which covers the candy end of the queen cage, and dropped the cage into the hive. The candy is exposed, and the cage is laying on the BB screen side up, so I left it there instead of trying to stick my hand into the hive and pick her up. She should be able to get out, right?
Steve
 

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Hi Steve,

I did the same thing. Left the queen cage on the bottom on one of the 2 hives. She got out ok and is laying like a champ. Your results may vary, but I hope you don't worry as much as I did.

Before the cage went in I did poke a small hole through the candy so she could get out quicker.
 

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I wouldn't leave her on the floor. Debris falls on the floor all the time. I would just release her. They may or may not eat the candy out, and the bottom is not the best place to get them to do it. Peel the screen back and let her out. You don't have to reach down through all the bees to get to the bottom. The easiest way to get her off the bottom board is to lift the box off and set it on a lid or bottom or whatever and just pick up the cage off the bottom. Then set the box back onto the bottom and open the top and put her in.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>Ok, this may be a silly question, but...
Instead of removing the hive body, since she is near the front of the hive, can I just tilt the hive back a little, and pull the box out with my hive tool?

It all depends on where it is and your manual dexterity. I'm just saying you don't have to reach down through the bees. The box is quite light with only bees in it and the bees on't be disrupted if you leave the lid on for the operation.

>And should I smoke them?

Personally, I would light the smoker and probably not use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Michael.
I was able to tip the hive back enough to use my hive tool to pull out her cage. They've eaten a little more than half of the candy. I wasn't very comfortable getting the screen off, so I used my leatherman and pushed a hole in the candy, and then put her back on top of the frames. As this was a quick visit on my way to my daughter's dentist appt, I was in shorts and tshirt with veil and lit smoker. I was a little nervous, but had no problem with the girls, they buzzed my veil a couple of times, but that was it. Now I just need to leave them alone for a week, right?
BTW, there were several bringing in big bunches of pollen. Glad to see they're already hard at work!
 
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