Introducing a queen into a queenless unit
If you for whatever reason have a colony or some bees without a queen, you will need to introduce a new queen into the colony. This needs to be done with care, since the worker bees will not accept a new queen under all circumstances. A new queen, that you may have bought, or reared elsewhere, is usually first kept in a small receptacle, called a queen cage, together with some worker bees, which are often called nursery bees. To introduce the queen into the queenless colony fowllow these steps:
- Remove the nursery bees from the queen cage. Put the queen cage containing the new queen into the queenless part of the divided hive. It will most likely be the nucleus that is queenless.
- You can open the queen cage after three or four days. By then the worker bees should have accepted the new queen.
- Make sure that the nucleus has enough food. Especially if there is no nectar flow, you will need to feed the nucleus with a sugar solution so that the colony accepts the queen and grows.
- You can replace the original queen with a new one later, once winter feeding has begun.