Hi Fred, it is the easiest & quickest way that I can think of to introduce nurse bees to a weak colony. Especially if it’s done before the weak colony gets taken away because I found that I think some nurse or the non flying bees, to be more precise have done orientation flights & therefore return to their original hive.
I’ve been wondering if a lot of the non flying bees can’t fly at that point on account of not enough fuel in their stomach to actually fly. With that in mind, maybe a few puffs of smoke beforehand will insure that the bees that have done orientation flights will be able to fly back, leaving purely nurse bees behind.
A couple of weeks ago I tried this trick on a customer’s hive that still had the smell of fresh paint. The bees were VERY slow at moving into it. All I could put it down to was the smell of fresh paint overwhelmed to smell of the bees inside.
More recently I tried it on another freshly painted hive (maybe not as fresh as the last one I talked about), however this time I placed a lid up flush with the entrance, resulting in the bees instantly marching straight in, without even a one second delay. That hive owner was VERY impressed.