I installed a package of Italians in south east Michigan last Wed eve. It has was cold and rainy from installation till Sat, then cool and dry. They took some feed at first, then not much. I had seen little activity at the entrance. Last night (Sat) it was to get down to the lower 20's. It was cold a couple nights ago so I wrapped a blanket around the hive. (I kept it clear of the entrance) Being the colony was so small and not established I worried about them not being able to make enough heat, so I put a 60W bulb under it. (It was not directly under the hive, it was beside it, with the blanket able to tent in the heat) Today, Sunday, I wanted to check that the queen was out of her cage. It is the first time I opened the hive since installing. There was a lot of activity at the entrance and they had taken a lot more feed. The queen had been released from her cage. I could not find the queen but this is my first time so I don't know exactly what I'm looking for. I did not see any drawn comb. I had a frame out looking for the queen when a handful of bees fell to the ground. I was concerned that one could be the queen. I carefully scooped up what I could using the hive tool and bee brush. None looked like the queen. so I stopped looking and closed up the Hive. should I see drawn comb by now? (4 days after installation.) If I did drop the queen while inspecting frames, would she find her way back into the hive? Any other good info for a New-bee?
If you saw my previous post, I had left a few frames out. This gave me a lot of room to slide a frame over to pull it out. I noticed as I pulled each frame the would be long strings if bees linked together like the old game "Barrel of Monkeys". (I am probably dating myself) Just an observation, but any comments?