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Queen Introduction

Two old methods - smoking and shaking

Here are two methods of introducing queens that were taught to me by old beekeepers when I started beekeeping. They probably didn't know the principles of what they were doing, but I suppose by trial and error they found ways of doing things that worked.

I have used both these methods on many occasions and they are as successful as any I have used. I have no doubt they will be frowned upon by some who think they know more than others - probably because they aren't in the books they have read!

"Smoking" Method.

For this method to be successful the colony needs to be queenless for at least 4 days. It will probably help if the queen to be introduced has been without food for half an hour or so.

Shaking" Method.

The colony needs to be queenless. I have done it soon after removing the queen, but I think it better to wait a couple of hours after removing the queen, so the bees are frantic. It may also be better if the queen is hungry.

Put a sloping board in front of the hive in the same way you would when hiving a swarm. The longer the board, the better.

  • Shake one frame of bees onto the bottom of the board.
  • Drop the queen on top of the bees.
  • Quickly shake the bees off ALL the other frames on top of the queen.
  • Put the hive back together and leave for a few days.
  • I understand that some beekeepers may not wish to try these methods, but I find they work. If you are a bit doubtful, then try with a queen you wish to cull.

    Roger Patterson.