Introducing a new queen can be a tedious, long-winded process. Here’s a good quick method of introducing her 1 hour after removing the old one. No seven day gap, no removing of queen cells, no stressed bees. Yes, it works – I’ve tried it.
Here’s what to do:
This method is based on Snelgrove’s ingenious One Hour Method using a Matchbox.
Paper Bag Method
- Dequeen your target hive. Put her into a nuc for the duration just in case!
- Leave the colony for an hour to realise their queenless state;
- Shake, scrape or scoop about 50 worker bees from the same colony into a paper bag, screw up the neck so they can’t escape and leave them alone for about 10 minutes;
- Get your new queen and drop her into the paper bag with the workers and leave them together for about half an hour;
- During this time the workers will feed the new queen. They will become accustomed to her and she will take on their particular smell;
- Leave them alone together for about half an hour or till your target colony has had its queenless hour;
- Peirce a few small holes with a pin or some fine sharp instrument but be careful not to spear your queen;
- Part the frames in the middle of the hive, slip the paper bag between them and close the frames together again so the bag can’t drop;
- Walk away and stay away for about a week.
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