Releasing the Queens
What We Expected
We came upon the hives hoping to see each queen out of their cage and moving around the frames. We also hoped to see a minimal amount of burr comb in the top chamber and the successful migration of bees down into the framed out deep box.
What We Saw
This was a much quicker visit than most since we just needed to check on the queens. We saw all three queens still in their cages, alive, but not released.
What We Did
We actively removed the queens from the cages, being careful to remove the metal screen without hurting them. When they were set free, they stayed on the top of the frames, where multiple attendees appeared to be cleaning and feeding them. No signs of aggression or disruption toward them from the other workers.
What We’ll Do
Wait. We’ll leave them alone for about a week, not opening up the brood chambers, giving the queens time to acquaint themselves with their new surroundings and to start laying.