Just two days ago, the bees were installed in the hive. Now, we have to go in the hive to remove the queen cage, and to make sure that the bees are surviving. Lately it has been very cold, but the bees should be okay with their sugar syrup. When we got out there, we lit the smoker with egg cartons and pine needles. A few puffs around the entrance and inside the hive was enough, so we opened the hive up. The bees were all found in a large cluster around the queen cage. However, when the cage was pulled out, we realized that the queen was released. We also saw some bees festooning (making wax). They can be seen chained together.
The colony looked very healthy, despite the cold weather. We closed up the hive and cleaned out the entrance to make sure that no dead bees were in the way. We also watched the bees entering the hive to look for bees entering with pollen, but none were spotted. The next hive inspection will be next week, to make sure that the queen is laying and wax is being made. Hopefully, we can take the sugar syrup off in about two weeks.