Hive #2 went just as smoothly. No objections from the bees. Their queen looked active and beautiful. As soon as she was released, she crawled right down between the frames and into the hive. Success #2.
Hive #3 started out ok. The bees gave me no trouble. I didn't suspect any problem because as with the other two hives, there were plenty of bees gathering around the queen cage. But when I inspected the cage I could immediately see that the queen was dead. Bummer. What went wrong? I haven't the foggiest. I gave the hive a bit of a check but didn't see any queen cells. So another queen wasn't the cause.
(Above - dead queen. The green dot on her back is marking paint. Marking the queen makes her easy for a person like me to find her in the hive. The marking paint doesn't hurt her.)
Now what? I called my mentor for advice, assuming the I would have to call Kona Queen for a replacement. Being a novice, I wanted to make sure that I would be doing things correctly. Since I was going to be out of town for the next two days, my mentor offered to order the queen, pick her up, and install her into my hive. Fabulous! My shining knight to the rescue. Thank you!
I'll let you know how the second attempt goes.