The Hard to Find Queen

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Joined
Nov 5, 2013
Messages
1,508
Reaction score
956
Location
St. Albans, Vermont
Hive Type
Langstroth
Number of Hives
700
I thought I would add a hack of my own... This is my shaker box. It's a sound hive body with an excluder attached to the bottom.
Do you ever have trouble finding a queen. That queen that you absolutely have to find now. This is the kit I use and how I use it.
Remove all the supers and top brood chamber. Place an inner cover between each, with feed hole closed with duct tape. This is so the queen will have to remain in whichever box she's in. She can't run down.
Remove all the combs from the bottom brood box, looking for the queen as you go. Stand them against the next hive or place in an empty hive body. I like to stand them with an OSB board (or inner) on the ground and another standing on it, leaning against the next hive. Bees and queen won't crawl off the combs. Check empty bottom box for queen. Not there? Scrape frame rests and any burr comb on sides of box.
So you didn't find her, yet. Place the shaker on the box, leaving a 3-4" opening on your side. Take the first comb leaning against the next hive, and shake all the bees into the shaker box...brush if there's a nectar flow on. Scrape the burr comb off the top bar, place frame in the opening, and slide under the shaker box with your themb anbd hive tool. Repeat with the other frames, each pushing the others further under the shaker box, until they're all back in the bottom brood box. Slide the shaker box back toward you, closing the opening.
To get back into their nest, the worker bees must go down through the excluder. Smoke very lightly...wafting smoke over the top. Don't gas them. Once you see the bees are going down, shake the second brood box. Keep the bees below the tape with your brush or hive tool. Smoke lightly to keep them moving down.
Work slowly. and methodically. You'll find the queen where the wood meets the excluder.
 

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Excellent Mike thanks for sharing. Just out of interest, do you do anything with the drones or do they fly off and enter the hive via the entrance do you find if you're looking at the height of summer?
 
Excellent Mike thanks for sharing. Just out of interest, do you do anything with the drones or do they fly off and enter the hive via the entrance do you find if you're looking at the height of summer?
Most stay in the box, some fly out. I dump them on the ground in front of the hive, once I find the queen.
 

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