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I have got some nice queen cells in my top bar hive. I want to cut out the queen cells and put on my Lang brood frames and put those into a queen castle. Obviously the Lang frames will be from a different hive than the queen cells. My question is, how long do the Lang frames need to be queenless, before they will accept a queen cell from a different hive?
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Nurse bees will care for most any cells instinctively, it is the queen who objects to other queens, in most cases queen cells are fine even in a queenright hive until the new queen emerges, so I guess the answer would be not very long.
 

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Adding a capped queen cell does not seem to matter so much, but your average of accepted, well-mated queens does seem to go up a bit sometimes if the mating nucs are left queenless of at least 2 hours, some folks insist 1 whole day is better.

If adding a 48-hour old, uncapped queen cell, it matters that the colony is 1) very strong and populous, 2) well-fed, and 3) queenless for 2 hours before you add the 2-day-old queen cell. It doesn't work for weak colonies like mating nucs.

Adding an incubator-hatched, virgin queen seems to work best introducing her in a candy plug releasing push-in cage. She assumes the smell of the hive before going out and mating.

Adding a mated queen is best done in a Laidlaw cage.
 
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