Like most people, I introduce my own queens into nucs as mature queen cells - but from time to time I inject new blood into the apiary in the form of a purchased mated queen, the latest of which recently arrived from Hungary. As such queens are financially expensive, I introduce them by Direct Release, having observed their acceptance by workers through a perspex introduction board (http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/knighttaberdews.html) for several days, rather than using 'fondant timed-release', which I've always considered something of a lottery.
And so I made up a small nuc as usual with mongrel workers from what was, at one time, a Buckfast strain, only to be surprised at the amount of displayed aggression: a huge hedgehog immediately developed over the cage, to such an extent that I became concerned that the queen might become over-heated, and so 'un-velcroed' the nurse bees, and removed it. I tried introducing again next morning, and the response was better, but still not great.
It was a full 4 days later when I judged that acceptance was adequate, but still left Direct Release until the next day, as an insurance. But - as soon as the queen was released, she was immediately subjected to balling by a dozen or so workers. A good puff of smoke broke-up that ball and the queen was recovered and returned to her cage.
On the basis that 'enough of that was quite enough', a new nuc was created using bees from a Galtee (AMM) strain I'd planned on converting the apiary over to - but - although fine at nuc size, this strain had become far too defensive when full-sized. But unlike the 'at-one-time-Buckfast' strain, these bees did stay calmly on the comb when inspected - so were judged a better prospect.
And so they were. No hedgehog - just a dozen or twenty bees covering the cage, very pleased to see a queen. And when I moved a barbeque skewer over the cage, they just lifted their legs calmly - with no hint of velcro attachment. As they say "it was like chalk and cheese".
One explanation for this difference can be found on Randy Oliver's site:
http://scientificbeekeeping.com/the-...-and-survival/ ... in which he writes:
Never a truer word spoken ...... there is a genetic component involved in worker recognition of the individual components [of Queen Pheromone]. Some strains of bees do not recognize the queen if certain components are not present in the right amount!
This finding makes me wonder if that is why it is difficult to introduce queens of some strains into unrelated colonies, and whether this might be related to the substantial amount of rapid supersedures sometimes observed after introducing purchased queens. If you are introducing queens of a different stock than the recipient colony, the workers simply may not recognize her pheromonal signals as being “right”!