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Discussion Starter #1
I installed a 3lb package of bees a week ago. Since then the bees can be seen coming and going during the day but generally just a big ball in the inside corner of the ktbh bear the entrance. No hive to be seen yet. I am feeding them syrup and yesterday they ate a about 1.5 cups of it yesterday.

They look like they are doing fine but I just don't know when I should expect to see comb. I'll try and post pictures later if the rain lets up

Thx
 

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I had to look really closely at my frames at first before I could see that they were building up a comb on the wax foundation. They started really looking like comb after two weeks. If you are not using foundation, I don't know how long.
 

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They should start building almost immediately if they are queenright.

Did you direct release or put her in in the cage or what?
 

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Discussion Starter #5


maybe i just cannot see it because of the ball, i just don't want to disturb the bees. the queen is out of her cage, has been since the beginning because i took the cork out of the wrong side, stupid mistake, got distracted.

should i just wait another week and if i don't see anything but then get concerned?
 

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uh, with a direct release of the queen, you may not have one anymore. When were these pictures taken? I see bees still in the package, and they shouldn't be there unless these pictures were the day you installed the package. If they don't have a queen's pheromones to hold them together, they may not be making any comb.
 

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i attached the wrong pictures at first that was the day of release, the pictures of the "bee ball" are from tonight
 

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at this point how would i determine if there is still a queen? i cannot go through thousands of bees looking for one that looks slightly different.
 

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The only way you're going to see comb in a pile of bees like that is to either wait until the comb is built wide enough that you can see it from the window... or pull out a couple of bars from the middle of the ball and see if they have comb on them. After a week, I think they should have had a few combs pretty well built out. In five days my last two packages had nearly six full combs built.

Are they bringing in any pollen?

at this point how would i determine if there is still a queen? i cannot go through thousands of bees looking for one that looks slightly different.
There should be a pretty constant stream of bees coming and going from the hive and a lot of them should have pollen on their legs. That should give you a pretty good clue at least.

Do you have any other hives?
 

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So late last night (after dark) i went out and watched them through the observation window. After about an hour a small hole opened up in the ball where i could see a couple inches in and there was comb. it looked almost pure white, but there was comb.

Should I go in today with the smoker and make sure the comb is vertical without any cross-combing or should i wait until i can see a few combs?
 

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So late last night (after dark) i went out and watched them through the observation window. After about an hour a small hole opened up in the ball where i could see a couple inches in and there was comb. it looked almost pure white, but there was comb.

Should I go in today with the smoker and make sure the comb is vertical without any cross-combing or should i wait until i can see a few combs?
Pure white is what it's going to look like. I know it's been said 1000 times on here... but DO NOT bend that comb just hold it straight up and down like it hangs in the hive. How big did the comb seem? Have you checked the hive inside at all since you installed them? If not it is probably time to make sure they aren't building strange comb. I'd be leary of leaving the window open that long with a new hive, that's a big hole in the side of their house that they might not like.

It would be adventageous to open the hive and see how much comb they've drawn. And to see if there are any eggs.

uh, with a direct release of the queen, you may not have one anymore. When were these pictures taken? I see bees still in the package, and they shouldn't be there unless these pictures were the day you installed the package. If they don't have a queen's pheromones to hold them together, they may not be making any comb.
I wouldn't be too worried that you direct released her, a lot of people do this. I wish I would have done this on mine. If they've been together for a few days you don't have too much to worry about directly releasing her.
 

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I always direct-release the queen. Just take the non-candy cork out, put your finger over the hole, and gently set the cage down (don't "drop" it) right on top of all those bees. (They'll move.) Take your time, and don't be spooked by "all those bees buzzing around." Then, unhurriedly close up.

If you really want to "do the candy thing," smear a bit of marshmallow over the hole. But, I've never bothered.

A few days later, remove the now-abandoned container just to keep things tidy in there.

A push-pin is the best tool for trying (grrr ....) to get the :no: little cork to come out. If it simply won't, and falls inside, simply jiggle it to be sure that the cork is well away from the hole and proceed about your business.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
well i checked yesterday and there are 6 or 7 combs with some cells capped. I did notice that none of the combs come within 2 inches of the observation window. Do you think this is because my 4 year old likes to go check on them every day and they are scared of the opening and closing?
 

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well i checked yesterday and there are 6 or 7 combs with some cells capped. I did notice that none of the combs come within 2 inches of the observation window. Do you think this is because my 4 year old likes to go check on them every day and they are scared of the opening and closing?
No, I don't think so, it's just them building. We installed two packages May 5th. One of them built FULL combs from the very beginning. The other has a greater number of combs started but none of them have been fully built. They will build them more or less fully at some point, but I don't think your observation window has much to do with it. The hive that has an observation window is the one of mine that's built out fully. The one without has the partials.

Good deal seeing capped cells. Were there a lot of larva too?
 
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