Rookie queen mistake
So, I am a rookie at this and made what I think was a stupid mistake.
When I got my package bee's they came with 4 candy plugs attached to the outside of the boxes. But every.single.video.I.ever.did.see shows the keeper just pulling the queen cage, dropping it onto a frame, and saying "in a few days they will release her by eating the candy plug!"
In my anxiousness, I just sort of did what the video did and dropped them in.
Last night (3 days later) I woke up in a sweat and realized: Those plugs were probably included because I needed to do a swap out! Needless to say, I slept like 2 hours last night and waited all day today to get to mid-day when the hive was out and busy.
This afternoon I went to inspect and sure enough, my queen was in her cage and the hive was building comb around the queen cage (about a 5" plume). I pulled the queen cage out and it's just not clear to me if it was a candy plug or a temp plug and clearly it was nowhere near eaten. Using a nail, I quickly removed the plug and popped the queen cage back into the hive safely.
The other 3 hives were the same.
So, I guess my question is twofold
- Was this a total rooking mistake? Do package bees always ship with a hot-swap candy plug you have to pop in?
- They'll be ok? Right? So far they seem really robust and it felt like the right thing was happening.
My next step is to do another inspection in 3-4 days, make sure the cages are empty and see if they are back to business as usual. Anything else to watch for?
The joy of being a n00b. Thanks for listening.