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Author Topic: Wheres my Queen?  (Read 3678 times)
tejas
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Location: Red Oak, Texas


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« on: July 05, 2004, 11:08:27 PM »

Does anyone have any tips for finding the queen during inspections? I have done around 10 and only seen her once. I know she is there because I have found eggs on every visit. She is marked so it doesn’t look like it should be that hard to find her. But I have had very little luck so far. Do most of you all find your queen during your inspections?
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Blackbird
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2004, 11:32:23 PM »

As long as there are signs of the queen and things are going well with the hive there is no reason to look for her every time you inspect. She tends to be shy so may be running from your efforts to find her. It is really disruptive to pull every frame looking for the queen so as long as things are running smoothly I wouldn't worry about her.

Stacie
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Anonymous
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2004, 11:40:22 PM »

She may have been marked when you installed her but if the nurse bees didn't like the color they will take it off.
 Cheesy Al
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Lesli
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2004, 07:00:43 AM »

Quote from: trail twister
She may have been marked when you installed her but if the nurse bees didn't like the color they will take it off.
 Cheesy Al


And some books I've read say supercedure is more common than most of us realize--so you may have a brand new queen. Smiley
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Lesli
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asleitch
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2004, 07:39:59 AM »

Are you using too much smoke? I've seen that suggested as a something that reduces your chances of seeing the queen.

Adam
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tejas
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2004, 10:20:08 PM »

asleitch,

I do use a lot of smoke. I'll try using less and see if that helps. Does the queen generally run to the bottom of the frames when smoke is used?
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dsj21
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2004, 05:35:42 AM »

Tejas, I'm batting the same average as you. 1 out of ten. Was about the 5th inspection. I too had a marked queen when I started, but the queen I saw wasn't. Interesting comment about the workers possibly not liking the color and removing it. I hope that is what happened to mine. As opposed to the thought of my nervousness and ham handed clumbsiness squashing her.
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asleitch
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2004, 05:58:25 AM »

Quote from: tejas
asleitch,

I do use a lot of smoke. I'll try using less and see if that helps. Does the queen generally run to the bottom of the frames when smoke is used?


Yes, and off the bottom into the base of the hive. When the bee inspector came to see my bees, he used literally 2 puffs at the enternace, and that was if it for the entire inspection. 2 small puffs. That was the first time I'd seen her, it may have helped I was slightly further away. Out of interest, I went to a lecture by a local professional beekeeper, who has teached evening classes for 30 years, and he mentioned that most queens are superseeded more often than you think, but that a young queen painted, does last a long time, and he's seen his beginner students paint her head, eyes, legs, wings and despite this she has been accepted by the colony and given long service. So perhaps we worry about marking them too much. (He remarked they basically paint anywhere except the "right" place, and not only that tend to smear it over her wings as well. All queens have been fine.

Adam
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Lesli
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2004, 07:19:31 AM »

When my beekeeping club opened their hives, they also used very little, so I'm doing the same. Really, the girls are so gentle it hardly seems necessary.

Now I will say that I've had a great record of queen spotting--but when you have 5 frame nucs, it's a lot easier.
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Lesli
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2004, 09:38:22 AM »

Even if your queen has been superceded, it's not a real big hassle to mark the new one.  I have always just used bright red fingernail polish.  When you only have a couple hives, it's not too difficult to remember the year you had a new queen, so color coding for year really isn't necessary.  You just want to know if she's been superceded, and is easy to find if you need to. Like all things with the bees, your movement should be measured and paced.  Not quick and grabby.  A little dab will do ya.
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