Lucky escape!

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House Bee
Jul 21, 2009
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Pocklington, Yorks, UK
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Rosti helped me inspect one of my hives yesterday, with the objective of finding and marking the new queen (she started laying 4 - 5 weeks ago, all going very well, but i hadn't been able to find her on the previous inspections).

I took the roof off the hive, removed the rapid feeder that was in a super eke and shook off most of the bees out of the (empty) rapid feeder, took off cover board and we went through the hive.

After a good look through all the frames neither of us could find the queen. Since we could see plenty of eggs and brood we decided to close the hive back up and call it a day. Since we were going to start a course of apiguard treatment I put a 30mm eke on the hive, a tray of apiguard and then the cover board and roof. We then inspected the other hive on that site.

Time to clear up and go home... we started to collect the supers I'd been using as feeder ekes and the empty feeders which were all laid on the grass. I shook the remaining couple of bees out of one of the feeders and asked Rosti to do the same to the other feeder...he was just about to shake the bees out onto the grass, when he shouted out that the he had spotted that the queen was actually in the feeder cone with a couple of worker bees!!

We quickly re-opened the hive, carefully put her on one of the frames and then marked her.

How lucky was that!!

Thanks to Rosti for spotting her.

Moral of the story... If you have a feeder on a hive without a QE, be aware the queen may go up into the feeder (learning experience for me).

BKF Admin 

Queen Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
Jul 28, 2008
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Hampshire uk
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I used to have a queen that was always on the underneath of the crownboard when you open them with no supers on.
The second you puffed smoke in the entrance she would head for the roof.

I even put a message with indelible pen on the crownboard to remind me she would be there.