On arrival mated queens can be kept for a day or two in the travelling cage. If so, they should be inspected and placed in a dark place (in a draw) where it is warm - room temperature, approx. 20 deg C. These will need some water placed against the holes, outside of the cage, using a little cotton wool - keep this moist.
The colony that needs a queen should be made queenless prior to the new queen being introduced. Make sure there are no queen cells present in the colony. Shake bees off the frames if required. Giving the colony a good syrup feed, outside a nectar flow, helps to settle the bees, giving the queen a better chance of being accepted.
It is always best to remove the accompanying worker bees from the queen cage before introducing the new queen. This can be accomplished either on a closed window or even better, by carefully opening the queen cage inside a clear plastic bag. (If the queen should escape she will still be trapped inside the bag). Once the workers have been expelled carefully slide the lid closed without trapping the queen’s legs or wings.
Introduce the queen as soon as possible, (towards the evening is best), and insert into the middle of the brood nest. Face the candy-side downwards, suspending the cage through the eyelet using a twig from the top of the frames.
At this stage do not remove the plastic tab which allows the workers to eat the candy plug:
Mated Queens: Leave 5 days alone, go back and remove the plastic tab, sometimes a little more fondant needs to be added. Leave a further week before carefully inspecting the colony. The queen should now have settled down and eggs and possibly some larvae should be present.
Unmated Qu’s: Leave 3 days before removing the plastic seal. If there is still a
chance of new queen cells being raised by the hive, after 5 days remove any further queen cells. Otherwise close the hive and leave
alone for 3 weeks. It can take up to 4 weeks before queens mate
and eggs are laid.
The safest and most successful way to introduce a new queen (especially a Virgin) is to setup a mating nucleus hive. To setup: - Before introducing the new queen: Take a couple of frames of sealed brood and a frame of pollen and honey out of the main hive. Shake in twice as many bees from the super box if possible (this reduces the risk of accidentally putting in a queen) Leave for several hours with a reduced open entrance and have a look to make sure there are enough bees remaining, if not, shake some more in. The remaining young bees will accept a queen much better than older flying bees. Feed syrup as required.
Unfortunately there are no guarantees as there is no 100% safe way of introducing a queen.