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Just wondering if I should set up my nuc a few days before I get my queen so they will accept her faster and she can start laying? Or should I do it once I get her?
 

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Few days no. If there are fresh eggs in that split they will start to make a new Queen by then and will not accept the new one. I split and add a Queen when I get to where I am going to put them. Or in my holding watching yard. I like to split at noon and add a Queen at 5, with the candy still intact. It takes 1-2 days tops for them to eat through the candy and release her.

I've done a lot of splits and requeened a few and only have had one not accept and happened to be this year. I requeened again same method and she is laying like a mad man or women.
 

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Not sure where the difference(s) come in. Have heard people having problems with introducing queens. But recently, I took some frames & bees from one hive, added them to another hive that only had a few bees, and then added a queen from a third hive. Put her in a marking cage, set her on top of the frames while I finished going thru her old hive, and when I got back to her about 30 minutes later to let her go, she had lots of bees on her cage. Set her free and watched for about 5 minutes, and they took right to her as she inspected empty cells. Mayhap I just got lucky...
 

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You definitely don't want queen cell ready eggs or young larvae in the nuc before the queen. They will build a cell, and the nuc will go into swarm mode when it finds itself with multiple queens. 24 hours is okay, but any longer is asking for trouble.
 

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Make really really really really sure that your queen will get there on the date that you think the queen will get there!!!! I was left out to dry last month on requeening hives and no queens showing up till next week. So no matter who you are buying from make sure your queens will be there when you need them!!!!
 

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This year I installed two bought queens with 100 percent success. This might be too late, but I would not worry about making up your nuc until you have the queen in hand.

my process was:
*what UTvolshype said - make sure no queen in your nuc*

1. pull frames of brood from donor hive.
2. Find a frame with emerging brood and shake all the bees off.
3. release queen where brood is emerging and put a push in queen cage down [mine was ~4x5 inches] (try to find a spot with brood emerging and a few empty cells of ectar, or dribble a little sugar water in the empty cells after she is installed).
4. Put that frame in your new nuc and release over the next 3-4 days so long as the bees move off the cage when you gently push them with your finger. If they cling hard, give her another day or so.

I also made an effort to only put in brood frames with no eggs and no larvae that was young enough to be raised to a QC.

I didn't premake them 24 hours in advance, they were only queenless for the time it took me to install the queen in a push in cage, and otherwise set up the nuc.
 

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A queen in the hand is worth 10 in the mail... I would wait until you have her. Ideal queenless time, in my opinion, is overnight. Set the nuc up late afternoon the day before and introduce the queen the next morning...
 

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Just wondering if I should set up my nuc a few days before I get my queen so they will accept her faster and she can start laying? Or should I do it once I get her?
Last summer I did a split in that way. I knew when the queen was coming, so the day before, I split the hive, moving the incumbent queen with the split. The following day the purchased queen arrived. I set her in a quiet place to spend the night. The next day I placed her in cage with candy plug, into the hive. This seemed to work quite well. So from the time I split the hive to when I introduced the queen was about 36-40 hours.

Hope this helps.

Phil
 

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I just make the small split and put the queen cage in. If they haven't got her released when I check on the fourth day, I turn her loose unless the bees are aggressive looking on the cage. That is very seldom and chances are they won't take any queen it seems.
 

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As already mentioned if you make them queenless too soon they start cells. The further they get down that road, the more likely they will continue. I hate to be a pessimist, but queens often arrive, late, dead, or not at all. I always wait until I have the queen in hand and alive.
 

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This year I had queens coming for a research project. It was supposed to be 2 but they sent 4. I went through my hives looking for something to split. In my biggest boomer( that I had done a cut down split on) I only found about a dozen drone cells. I saw a small thin queen in there and grabbed her. As soon as I got done caging her, I set a new queen cage on the top bars. They took to her instantly. Time without a "queen": 5 minutes. Time without a mated queen: a month. They know quickly when they need a queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone for the help. Got her today went and setup a nuc going to go put her in the box tomorrow a.m. is there anything else I should watch for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Went this morning and put my queen in her new hive. They already had a QC started and when I set the queen in they just checked her over.I think I'll head over on Sunday and if she is still in her cage I'll just let her out.
 

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Glad you brought this topic up, northernpike. I'm supposed to be getting a new Russian queen any day now and it's what I would have asked.
 

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My new favorite way to make up a nuc or small spilt for a purchased queen has worked great every time. It is to pull several frames of mostly capped/emerging brood from a boomer hive that needs to be thinned out anyway. Shake/brush the bees off and place the frames in a new box. Place the whole box on a queen excluder over that hive (or another that has lots of bees) overnight or a few hours at least. Nurse bees will move up to cover the frames. Remove the whole box, put it where you want it. Any foragers will fly back home. Add the queen cage and she will be released to a nice big box of sweet nurse bees. Love it. Helped me make nucs and prevent some swarms this spring. Since the nurse bees can't forage yet, make sure you give them honey (or a feeder) pollen frames too. I think this is called a Dolittle split.
 
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