>I'ved heard of directly releasing a queen into the hive. What is the disadvantages and advantages of doing that, and how do you actually "directly" release her?
Queen release is a complex thing and dependant any many of the circumstances. With a package that has been in shipment, I always do a direct release. I didn't used to, but it's simpler and the acceptance has been the same. With requeening a hive, you have to have it queenless before any method will work well. And then you'll have much better success with some sort of slow release (push in cage, candy cage etc.). But you can sometimes get by with a direct release as long as the bees know they are queenless.
Also, the more confusion, the less fighting. If you put a frame of bees from another hive in in sometimes they will fight. If you put a frame of bees from each of three other hives in, the added confusions almost always prevents fighting. If you shake a bunch of bees together in a box they will not fight and if you give them time to realize they are queenless you can usually do a direct release within two hours with pretty good luck.
It's the overall circumstances that add up to make a situation where they will or won't accept a queen.
The biggest risk, if you are doing a direct release in a package, is the queen flying. I would give her a spritz of syrup from a spray bottom and then peel back the wire on the cage while holding the screen side facing down to the top bars.
If she ever does fly, just stand there until you see her come back or for 10 minutes which ever comes first. She will orient on you and often will fly back into the hive or land on you.