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malawi2854 

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OK - I know this sounds really sad...

When I got my first nucleus earlier this year, I was pleased that I could spot the queen pretty much every time I opened up the hive - and it was reassuring to see her pottering about when I looked in there.

Since they swarmed, and the new queen has emerged, she's started laying, and each week, I can see evidence of brood & eggs at all stages, but I'll be damned if I can find the queen - haven't spotted her a single time since she appeared.

Does anyone have any brilliant tips for spotting/finding her? Ideally, I'd like to get her marked, as this helped massively with the first one - but obviously, before I can mark her, I need to find her!


I've tried paying particular attention to the areas where the freshest eggs are... but still no luck, 3 weeks/inspections on!! :blush5:
 

the naked beekeeper 

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Don't worry about it now as your colony will be at its strongest.

Do it in the Spring when the colony is at its smallest.

So long as you can see eggs, then all is well.
You won't need to do anything with her this late in the season so don't worry.
Let laying queens lie!
 

RoseCottage 

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I think there is another thread on here somewhere that describes how to find her by dividing the brood frames in your search. It may have been comments from Polyhive ...

Essentially you divide the brood into three sets of frames and check and remove with a small time gap between set searches. This is intended to give the queen time to move onto the frames. Eventually you should spot her...

Did this last week and now have two freshly marked queens ! Hurry !

All the best,
Sam
 

milkermel 

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ENJOY IT !! its better than a game of wheres wally!!! when she is young she will move faster than you can believe!! I found one of mine after looking for weeks I had the frame in my hand, bent down to pick up marker and You guessed it!!!! disappeared! too me another min or 2 to find her on the one frame!

Like the first post said if you are seeing eggs dont worry wait til spring when less bees
 

the beehive lodge 

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:iagree:Don't worry my Queen loves to run and hide at the bottom of the hive well out the way as soon as the roof is lifted off i think some times its their survival instinked to hide in the darkest depth of the hive and not get damaged to aid survival of the colony:party:
 

drstitson 

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hidden queen

the survival of the hive depends upon survival of just 1 of 50,000+ of the occupants. Not surprising that she keeps clear of marauding beeks!!!!
 

Rosti 

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If she is that elusive and you must fine her (do you reeally need to given the evidence?) remove end frames to give space, unlikely queen will be on store frames but carefully check anyway! Remove enough end frames so that light can penetrate between the remaining 'brood' frames (perhaps 4). Move the remaining frames together as pairs. with clear space between the pairs. Queen will will move away from the light so in between frames in pairs, inspect from edge spiralling to centre of each, 'dark' side first. If no luck check outside of each frame pair before moving on to the next set. Unlikely that Queen will move between the frame pairs but she may move down into the base of the brood box. Smoke if you need to before opening up but don't use top smoke, that will also drive her down. Good luck
 

Gardenbees 

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One of my hives has a frisky queen that moves like lightning. I don't bother looking for her - if I catch a glimpse it's a bonus. But if I really needed to find her, I'd put a strip of card or jute sack along the top of two likely brood frames, just to cover the gap between them so that they're completely dark inside. After a minute or so the queen is most likely to be on one of the two completely dark frame faces under the strip, rather than a frame which has light coming in from above.

Move the surrounding frames out slowly to give yourself lots of room and her less options, then gently lift up the two likely frames, still keeping the top gap covered (keep them over the brood box or an empty nuc box - don't risk her majesty falling onto the grass!). Get a little marking cage or similar device ready, preferably with someone else there to steady the frames, then part the two frames at one end, and look sharp as the queen shifts herself towards the darker end still covered by the strip. If your helper is facing you, then they can look at one side of the darkened frames and you can look at the opposite one. If one of you can spot her:hurray:, nab the queen before she dives for the brood box or otherwise does a bunk.

But before you do all that - and risk a fair amount of stress to the bees - ask yourself if you really need to see her! After all, there aren't many occasions when it's vital to actually locate the queen, comely tho' she be....
 

the druggist 

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As others have said you don't need to find her just evidence that she's there, doing what she's supposed to be doing - producing offspring. Some of the more experienced beeks in my local association have not seen the queen in some of their hives all year! A young vigorous queen will be awefully difficult to find in a strong hive.
If you really want to see her I found that if you don't give yourself enough space to take a frame out without rubbing the bees you'll have no chance as she has time to move to another frame or gets rubbed off. If you can, remove a frame (making very sure she's not on this frame), then slide the next frame away from the rest and lift out in one purposeful but careful manouvre. This way she doesn't suspect anything and gets little chance to move away!
Works for me and my queen's not marked and I find her most weeks.

I also find that if you don't concentrate on finding her you'll probably see her as she moves differently to the other workers.

Hope this helps.
 

oliver90owner 

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Hello there 'the druggist',

Welcome to an almost sane forum. Have you sorted those pics of the distorted plastic beetainer yet?

Regards, RAB
 

the druggist 

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Hi RAB

You seem somewhat calmer over here!

You'll just have to go to that Flikr site I gave - I can't be @rsed to work out how to post pics! Old dog - new tricks!
 

VEG 

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With only one colony as you have I would be more worried about squashing the queen looking for her. As the queen is laying I would leave it till the spring to find her.
 

oliver90owner 

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You seem somewhat calmer over here

Nah, only 'seem', so reading between the lines.....

Regards, RAB
 

malawi2854 

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Thank you everyone - seeing the queen was only a matter of interest really - as you say, I'm quite happy that she is doing what she should be.

I will keep an eye out for her... but won't go hunting I don't think... don't want to upset them unnecessarily!
 

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