If you would like to make a nucleus from an existing colony that is getting a bit overcrowded we suggest that you do this job on a sunny day using young bees and sealed brood.
You will need to find the queen, so you can leave her in the main colony, and then take 4 or 5 frames covered with bees. 2 - 3 of the frames should have sealed brood and 2 of the frames contain honey and pollen.
Place frames in order: 1 frame of honey, 2-3 frames with brood and 1 with honey and pollen on the end of your new colony.
Move the new colony 2-3 metres away. This allows the old flying bees to return to their existing hive, so only the young bees are left in the new colony, who are less likely to be aggressive towards the new queen.
You can put the caged queen into the new colony 4 -5 hours after nuclei have been made.
Place the queen cage between two combs of brood. Remove cover in the candy section for the bees to eat the candy and eventually release the queen themselves.
Spray the bees with sugar syrup and added peppermint essence to aid pheromone adjustment.
The new colony should be disturbed as little as possible for at least 5 - 6 days. Rather than disturbing the bees to look for the queen instead check for eggs and young larvae.
Your new colony can be used for future honey flow or, if you wish to replace the old queen, reunite 2 - 3 weeks later with the existing colony.
We cannot guarantee a new queen will be automatically or safely accepted by the colony.