I have plans to re-queen my lone backyard hive with a northern bred queen around the first of June. My plan for the "old" queen that came with a package this spring is to start an observation hive using a nuc-style observation hive like the one Brushy Mtn sells. The plan is for it to reside in my backyard also. I have read up on the re-queening process and I am comfortable with the removal of the old queen and introduction of the new but those methods assume a queenless hive or one that will be "offed" once she is successfully replaced.

I am looking for advice on how to conduct the queen removal/relocation and replacement with these fairly unique plans in mind. Is it as simple as taking the old queen with a couple frames worth of bees and brood and putting them in a prepared nuc box and properly introducing the new queen to the big hive. How far away will the nuc have to be from the big hive? Will bees placed in the nuc want to return to their old home? Will bees from the big hive smell their old queen and try to join her in the nuc hive?

We should have a very good flow going here by the first of June if that has any bearing.