This is a good short story on why you may need to be prepared to help your new queen get accepted. Last week we knew our new Sue Cobey NWC Breeder (#4) was expected any day, but were waiting for the tracking info, so we could be prepared in advance for her arrival. However, she arrived before the email alert. Luckily, Ed was home when the delivery was made, so the queen’s package was not left out exposed to the elements. He contacted me by text, and so I brought home from an out-yard a queenless Nuc to introduce her too and to help her get accepted by her new hive.
I set up the Nuc in a convenient spot, and installed the queen’s cage, with both ends still corked. Each day I checked the behavior of the bees on the cage, and each day, I saw aggressive, non-friendly action on the wire screen. I also checked each frame daily to be sure there were no rogue queens or queen cells present that would prevent acceptance of this new queen.
On the 5th day, I moved the Nuc to a different location in the yard, to lose the older forager bees, and added a frame of nurse bees. Two more days of aggressive behavior was observed.
On the 7th day, I placed the queen in an introduction cage over emerging brood, so her only attendants were the youngest bees possible. Finally on the 8th day, she walked freely on the comb. Phew!