If you have another hive, take a comb of capped brood, eggs, larvae etc. and give it to them. This will help add bees to the weak hive while the "is there a queen/requeen" question is considered.
Brush off all the bees on the frame of brood comb before putting it in their hive. Since there are few bees, do a dilligent search for the queen.
If you can't find her, and there are no eggs (look for them) then introduce one. If you find her she's obviously failing, remove her. If you locate her and she's small, a virgin, leave it. If you need to purchase a queen buy a marked queen, it's easier to find her after release to make sure they have accepted her. Introduce her several days after old queen is gone. How to introduce her depends on how she is caged. Most queens I've purchased are sold in regular, not push-in cages. A little box with a screen on top will hold the queen and a few workers will be in there to care for her. There will be a cork at each end. Behind one cork will be a piece of hard candy.
When you get the caged queen keep her in a cool and somewhat dark place until introduction. Place a drop or so of water on the screen, not enough to fall through, just a drop or two. (I even place a drop of honey there if I have it. I don't know if there's anything to it or not, but most times the honey is local, smells like my bees and I think it may help them accept the queen better. Haven't had one balled yet, even in hives that have long been without a queen and laying worker hives.)
Fit the cage between frames in the brood box, with the screen where it can get air. Leave the corks in place, candy side up. In a few days check and see how the bees are acting around it. As a beginner it's hard to tell. Look for agressive behavior, are the bees biting the cage? Or are they interested, in more of a caretaking mode? They'll be bees all over the cage either way. If they aren't aggressive you can release the queen. If they are, wait a few more days and then take the cork out of the candy end. The bees will eat through the candy and release the queen. Once she is no longer in the cage very carefully check for her to make sure she is accepted. If she's in there and OK close up the hive and leave it alone for several weeks. When you check again there should be eggs and brood.
Buy a good beekeeping book, or get one from your local library. Most of them have a section on quen introduction. Or look it up online and add "picture" to your search terms. You'll probally come up with a picture of the process. Others here have left picture links for you also.
Last edited by gingerbee; 06-26-2008 at 07:08 PM.
Try to learn something new every day and give thanks for all your blessings.