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Author Topic: First Package Install - Complications/Questions  (Read 1511 times)
schmthulhu
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« on: June 04, 2008, 11:17:45 AM »

I've just installed my first package this past Sunday, and have been observing the hive from afar over the past few days before making my first planned inspection later this week. I've noticed some potential problems and I'm not sure if they need to be addressed sooner.
(I am using a long top-bar style hive I built with an open screened bottom.)
On the ground below the hive I noticed some white powdery looking substance. On further examination it is definitely fresh wax. On the outside of the hive, on the underside, a small group of bees are clustered, apparently attempting to attach comb to the screened bottom, which is where I'm guessing the wax is falling from. Looking through the screen, I can see that inside the hive, the queen's cage has fallen from between the frames, right near where the bees are building comb on the outside.

I took some pictures of the underside of the hive, it's hard to see the queen cage in both of them though.

(Pictures could not be posted due to my low post count :/)

It looks like the queen cage landed screen down on the floor, although I can't get a good look to see if she's been released yet.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 11:26:44 AM »

Your best bet is the get into it and straighten things out ASAP before they get worse.  If the queen is still in the cage,  the only way the bees can take care of her is thru the bottom screen and that is why they are under there.   Hopefully they figured that out before she perished.

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schmthulhu
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Location: Lyndhurst, NJ


« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2008, 12:50:00 PM »

Yikes, I hope everything is salvagable. The cage did have a couple of attendants in there when I installed it. My concern with going in there today or tomorrow is that the weather is overcast and somewhat rainy in northern NJ today, and the only times I would be able to get to the hive between now and tomorrow are after dusk or before 10am.

Also, if I do go in there and the queen is well, but still in the cage, should I release her immediately or rehang the cage?

I've done so much research in preparation of starting my first hive, but things are so much different once you're actually doing it.

Thanks again for any help, and I look forward to being an active member of the beekeeping community.

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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2008, 01:03:41 PM »

Also, if I do go in there and the queen is well, but still in the cage, should I release her immediately or rehang the cage?

I would release her.   Most of the time package queens can be released during install as the bees have had enough time to accept her during the journey.

Welcome to the forums and looking forward to your participation.

Good Luck...

rob..
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Bennettoid
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2008, 01:06:36 PM »

I'd go in and release her now, as long as its not flat out raining.
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poka-bee
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2008, 08:58:14 PM »

I'm new too but would go right in & release her.  If the screen is down, they can't feed or attend to her. If she dies you will be further behind waiting for a new one.  I live near Seattle so I never get a nice day to go in! rolleyes  Jody
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2008, 09:24:14 PM »

Brush the bees off the bottom.  Cover the bottom with some cardboard.  Release the queen.
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schmthulhu
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2008, 10:45:46 AM »

Got home last evening and saw less bees on the outside of the hive. Figured that was either bad and meant she died and they had dispersed, or good and she was already released. Once I got in there to check I was happy to find the queen cage empty save for a stray worker or two wandering about. I found my queen dutifully walking around on some freshly drawn comb and saw her poke her abdomen in a couple of cells before I closed up the hive. It was too dark to see any eggs, but I took her behavior as a good sign. Thanks to everyone for the quick replies and advice.
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DaveKow
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2008, 11:06:56 AM »

Long live the queen!

Great news!

Dave
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poka-bee
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2008, 11:26:39 AM »

Great News!!  Now the fun begins!!  Jody
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kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2008, 11:32:50 AM »

schmthulhu,  where are you??  you can add your location in your profile.  it helps for later questions. 
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