Installing new queen

I’m planning on installing a new queen tomorrow (will triple check to make sure there is not an existing queen). I have 2 boxes with a flow super on top. There are so many opinions on where to place her. Some say at the top, some say at the bottom (it’s going to be in the 50s still at night so I don’t think the bottom is a good idea). I was thinking of placing her between two center frames at the top of the bottom box. So basically in the middle of the hive. Also, do you hang your cage or just wedge it between the two frames? I’m trying to take in all suggestions and go from there. This will be my first queen installation. How fun.

Hello and welcome to the Flow forum! :blush:

That is where I install mine. I do it by pushing the queen cage into the comb. Depending on what kind of queen cage you have, the method will vary. If it is one of the plastic ones, just push it in with one of the flat faces into the comb, and the candy plug on the upper side of the cage.

If it is a wooden cage with wire mesh, I push it in horizontally with the mesh facing up or down (not to the side) and with a slight tilt away from the candy plug. The reason is that if there any attendants in the cage which die, you don’t want them blocking the plug so that the queen can’t get out.

Final point, have you dispatched the old queen yet? If not, you will need to do that first.

Enjoy. As you say, re-queening is very exciting! :wink:

Thank you so much. Long story short-they swarmed on a very windy day-most returned to the hive and my queen is gone. That was 17 days ago. Hence the need for a queen as I haven’t seen eggs yet. So where in the hive do you suggest? I’m getting a 3 hole wooden cage and I have black frames (not naturally drawn). Will I be able to push it into the wax on those?

No queen cells either?

OK with the wooden cage I would put it in the middle of the existing brood nest at the top of the lower box. The reason is that new nurse bees are very ready to nurture a new queen, and that is where most of them will be. :wink:

The black plastic frames don’t make a difference at all. You just need to push the cage in far enough that you can fit the frame back into the hive.


Welp-I only realized in hindsight that it was an attempted swarm. So I did a split with a frame with 2 queen cells on it and then got rid of another 3 or so in the original. I may have left some-honestly I was overwhelmed. I’ve only been doing this a yr. They came out of the winter so strong. I’ve learned some things through this but really trying to make sure I don’t lose the original hive.

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Swarm season is overwhelming. Don’t worry, you have support here. We will do our best to walk you through your adventure and send you good thoughts. :blush:


Hi Amy and welcome!

Like Dawn said, don’t worry, you have support here :wink: Great job overwintering your first colony so well! The side effect of successful overwintering is that the colony will be ready to head towards swarming as soon as there’s nectar to be had.

About keeping your original colony, the best you can do is keep fostering and managing reproduction - keeping the descendants of your colonies as long as they have healthy and workable traits.

By the way it’s good you have 2 colonies now, you’ll learn so much more/faster that way.


I can’t tell if my message to you went through so here we go. I have a question in anticipation of installing her tomorrow. If I get into both hives and neither one has any eggs, is it possible to combine the split back into the original hive? I’m trying to plan ahead if I don’t have a queen in either one. The split more than likely should have eggs as I included a capped queen cell when I made it and it was chewed open a few days later.

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You can certainly recombine them, but you would need to do a newspaper merge for that. You can use the magnignifying glass search tool at the top of the page for information on that if you don’t know what it is. :wink:

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Thank you! Ok now I have a plan if in fact I’m 2 queens down. It would make for a big hive (3 deep with the super) but I suppose I could consolidate back to two deep when they’ve merged successfully. I don’t really want another swarm though! Guess that’s a question for another day-first things first!

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Question-when combining, if I keep The flow super on should I put newspaper between that and the box from the split or just between the bottom of the split box and the top of the original hive? There’s quite a few bees in my flow super so I wanted to leave it on.

If there are that many bees in the Flow super, are you sure you want to combine? The risk is that they may just swarm again.

If you are sure that you want to combine them, I would put newspaper on top of the split box, and then put the brood box with the Flow super on top of the split box. Do not make it too complicated :wink:

Neither the split nor the original had a queen. So I only had one to work with. It was that or lose the split. They’re in the flow super-not packed but they’re starting to work it. I guess I’ll just keep the paper between the original and the added split box and see how this goes. They seemed to like her so that’s good. I just hope they all get along.

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Another thought, I could think about a future split when this queen starts really laying, putting a frame of newly laid eggs in the split and see if they make their own queen.
Am I doing this right?? :crazy_face:


Sounds like a plan to me :blush:

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Swarm season can be overwhelming!

It was a warm winter and the bees here in central Ohio started early. I added deep boxes in February and made pre-emptive splits in March and then emergency splits again in April and yet both my overwintered colonies swarmed. I caught one, the other got away. It’s only 5/5 and I’m running out of equipment…

Queens are in the making and I am waiting patiently to see which ones successfully mate and which need help.

I also donated a frame of eggs to one of the emergency splits that seemed to have had deformed virgin (cell damaged during split maybe) and will check on them in a day or two to see if they have made some queen cells.


It is indeed! I only have the one hive that will become a more permanent two soon but still! When you do your splits do you include a frame of honey along with the nectar and pollen? I know to include eggs and larvae as well. The second box on the original is full of honey (heavy!) I’m hoping they’ll start storing some in the flow super now.
It’s also been raining the last few days here so I’m going to go in and remove the newspaper tomorrow but wait till next weekend to check if my queen is released and laying.
Seems to be tricky timing for a split as I need to let her start laying but don’t want it to fill up too fast and cause another swarm.

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This time of year they don’t need much honey and pollen - I try to make sure there are at least a few eggs but also lots of capped brood and if there’s a queen cell or two I will include those too.

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Ok good to know. Sounds like I might have to wait a little longer to give that brood a chance to be capped. So more larvae and capped brood and just enough newly laid eggs for them to make a queen. :+1:

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I figure the capped brood needs less attention from the workers that stay in the split and gives the it a quick boost when bees start emerging. Also takes more immediate pressure off the hive the split came from.