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Finding the queen

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terry jones 

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Amitedly I have very little experience of finding the queen but it's not down to lack of effort. I read how some of the forum struggle with aggresive hives but my own experience is largely good. They do not seem to bothered when taken out, therefor I have plenty of time to inspect.Unfortunetly I can never find the queen (plenty of brood/larvae) so she must be there somewhere.

She was marked with correction fluid in June but now it appears half the hive have white heads (bulsom) making it even more difficult to find.

any ideas or just a learning curve
 

admin 

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Get another box (A nuc box if you have one) and split the hive in half.
Leave them alone for 20 minutes and you should find the box without the queen will be panicking and a little more noisy that the Q+ box.

You now have only half the amount of combs to go through.

She will often bee in a middle comb avoiding any light,If you seperate the combs in the box you will often see here on the frame before you remove it.

Look for the longer brown legs and a different slower walking style,she will often stand proud of the workers as well.

If all else fails get another beek to look over your shoulder,they will find her in under 15 seconds,its easy to find a queen when its not your colony.
 
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Unless you have a specific need I'd wait until the spring when numbers are down and she'll be easier to spot hanging around the brood areas
 

CB008 

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I can certainly understand your point. As a new keeper this year I took in a swarm but could never find the queen (I could, however, always see other people's queens no problem). Eventually my mentor was kind enough to come over and he found her just as he was about to give up, hidden under other bees. I duly marked her and expected to see her easily from then on but sightings have been very rare. My mentor said at the time that she was a "runner" and I should consider re-queening. As a newbie I was far too emotionally attached to her to consider such drastic action.

Four weeks ago I took on a nuc to overwinter and gues what - I can spot the queen every time no problem at all. Whereas Q1 runs and hides the second the hive is opened, Q2 simply stays on a comb. Maybe you have a runner
 

admin 

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Did he say the queen was a runner or that the bees were "Runny" ?
Runny bees can be a pain and sometimes its worth trying to breed it out,but a running queen should make little odds unless here offspring are doing the same.
 

CB008 

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My mentor, who is a beekpeer of huge experience, said the queen was a "runner" and the bees were "clumping" - both undesireable states. They were a pretty angry mob as well but as the virgin Q mated and new brood arrived the bees turned mellow and no longer clumped - basically as soon as the hive was opened then they would run and form clumps, often dangling off the bottom of the frame.
 

mel1of4 

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who can never see the queen. My idea is that it's OK if we see open brood as she was there a few days ago, but my other half keeps saying 'we must see the queen!'. But when we look there's just so many flippin bees, they are usually 3 deep!
Oh well..
 

Cazza 

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who can never see the queen. My idea is that it's OK if we see open brood as she was there a few days ago, but my other half keeps saying 'we must see the queen!'. But when we look there's just so many flippin bees, they are usually 3 deep!
Oh well..
Tell your other half to calm down and you are absolutely right! No need to panic and search for HM.:willy_nilly:
Cazza
 

thurrock bees 

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i would not be too concerned if i dont see my queens all year, as long the brood pattern is good, with plenty of eggs then in happy that she is there, laying well and not going off laying.
 

Skyhook 

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Might I suggest a book for you? 'How to keep bees without finding the queen' by Paul Mann, available from Northern Bee Books. Makes it clear you almost never need to see the queen, and how to cope on the rare occasions you do.bee-smillie
 

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