I have successfully reared some queens to replace my 2 old queens and have now decided which ones I want to use (based only on size and sealed brood pattern. These queens are in 5 frame nucs which are now as full of brood as possible. I have marked them.
My question is ... what is the best way of introducing these queens to 2 quite strong colonies, one of which has a queen that is I think very small, as I have never seen her. Should I just catch the 2 new queens and introduce them is a cage in a standard way or is there a way of combining with the nucs??
Thanks for the help from members that has enabled me to get to this position. I managed to get 5 successfully mated queens out of 6 nucs ... beginners luck?
Hello Richard -
Congratulations on your queen rearing success!
It's your choice to requeen, but I would question the decision to requeen a "strong" colony on the basis that "you think the queen is very small", even though you haven't actually seen her. I feel strongly that size doesn't matter when it comes to queens. Look at the results of the queen to judge her by. What is the brood pattern like? What is the temper of the bees like? On the surface, it sounds like you already have yourself a good queen that is being quite productive.
As far as how best to introduce the queen, there are many ways to do this. I believe one of the safer ways is to simply combine the nuc with the other hive via the newspaper method. I would first find the "old" queen and kill her, wait a day or two, and then combine with newspaper.
Let us know how it goes.