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I have a friend who is planning on requeening some hives that he established from swarms last year. I am interested in keeping the old queen and her genetics. If we find her and Jim introduces the new queen later this week, can I just take the old queen and put her in a cage and introduce her to a nuc full of workers that I make up today. I have no idea how to do this since I've always let the bees make a new queen. All suggestions welcome.
 

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Yes, you can do that. Make up your nuc, a couple frames of sealed brood and a couple frames of nectar and an empty frame, and add the caged queen. Shake in one frame's worth of nurse bees. Check back in 3 days to see if queen was released, then check back in another week, you should by then have eggs and larva from new queen.
 

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If she's going to be a breeder queen she's pretty important and you dont want to lose her you also dont want her laying flat out in a hive either.
The best and safest way to do it with no danger of losing the queen is to take 2 frames of bees and brood out of the hive with queen and give your mate a couple of frames of whatever he's happy with to fill the gap.
Add as many frames as you need to fill the nuc and take it away it's a foolproof way of making sure your breeder is going to be ok.
If you want to keep her as a breeder for a few years keep her in a nuc so she can't lay herself out,
if you only want her for one season then it wont matter if you put her in a deep when the nuc gets strong.
cheers
kiwi
 
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