This should have been a relatively easy thing to do, but the brief period of cold air earlier this week made me change course.
The background info: my single hive has been fighting a queenless situation since Feb 24. Raised a few queens from queen cups but the virgins never returned to the hive. Had queens shipped in 3 different times from California, and only 1 queen has survived the plane ride. She arrived this past Tues (when our temps were dipping into mid 30's). Rather than risk her dying in the outside hive overnight, I pulled a couple frames of pollen/honey and the bees that were on them, and put them in my display hive inside the house. I set her plastic queen cage on the bars and watched how the bees reacted to her. Right away they were accepting of her, so I popped open the cap and released her into that small hive. Within an hour, she had laid quite a few eggs.
I'm now most anxious to get her in my outside hive and give her more comb to lay eggs on, because my hive is really dwindling at this point. Since the first group of bees from that hive were so accepting of her, can I assume that the remainder of the hive will be also? Or do I need to cage her with wire screening on a comb for a day so they get used to her? I'm very hesitant to do much manipulation with her at this point, just in case I damage her. The weather isn't supposed to get much warmer than 55 for the next few days and I don't want to do too much rearranging of the outside hive either.
I also have a package coming in this weekend and I was hoping to steal the frame of eggs she laid Tues, as they would be just hatching eggs and will hopefully anchor the package to their new hive. I also have a frame of capped drone brood, but I read somewhere that it has to be "open" brood to have the anchoring affect.