Is it possible to introduce a new package of bees and a new queen into a hive with no queen and laying workers? They were without a queen for a while and are quite weak. I got rid of all of the brood and, I hope, all of the laying workers. Is there a way to get the old bees to accept the new bees and vice versa? Do I need to get rid of the old worker bees and start all over?
I had the same situation with a package of bees I ordered. These were from Georgia.What I found out was that it might be possible when the bees were dumped from the hive into the wood box, an unmated queen could possibly have been in the package. This is due to the south begins swarming season earlier than northern states. So the chance was once your breeder queen was released one or both did not survive. My bees also dwindled in size a bit until I requeened. This worked to a point but the bees could not build wax fast enough for the queen, as the foundations were new. I divided one of my hives to this hive.If your going to add new bees to the existing bees there with a queen. Spray both the old bees and the new bees with 3 cups water and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to mask the scent of any queens which were present. Keep the new queen in her cage like when you first hived them, but keep the sugar candy end up and the cork removed. Do not remove the sugar candy. Release the queen in the slow method. Keep her cage close to the foundation with either duct tape or taping the little band on the queen cage to the 6th frame. Another issue also could have been the virgin queen lived over the mated queen, left the hive to be mated and was hit by a car or a bird nabbed her. Many possibilities could have happened. Hope all goes well.
Oh, and one other thing. Do not wait until any workers have started to lay eggs in the cells. Should be three eggs attached to the sides of the comb walls. In this case you will need to take the frames from the hive and shake the bees on the ground. The non laying worker bees will go back to the hive. Put new frames back in.