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Author Topic: Loacting the queen  (Read 1181 times)
homer
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« on: March 27, 2009, 06:19:44 PM »

Everytime that I inspect my hives I have the hardest time locating that darn queen.  I am hoping to mark my queens this year, but I have to fimd them first.  I only saw the queen in my one hive, 2 times last year. 

I was just wondering if there are any specific things to look for to help you find the queen.  I've seen other beeks open up their hives and find the queen in just a few short moments.  I know to look for places where there are eggs andnew larvae, but aside from that she manages to elude me.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2009, 06:35:35 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenspotting.htm
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mgmoore7
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2009, 08:54:08 PM »

Keep trying.  You will get better.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2009, 09:56:33 PM »

Homer,
Maybe she got wind of the idea you were going to slap some paint on her back and she hides from you... grin

I know some who inspect the top box, then remove it, then inspect the next box, and remove it....all the while pushing the queen to the box below. By the time they get down to the last box, so many bees have been pushed down with the queen, it makes it impossible to find her.

If you brood chamber is two boxes, start by separating the two boxes. Then go through each box in a manner that does not allow the queen to cross over to other boxes. (Like putting supers on brood boxes, or brood boxes on supers)

Don't look at individual bees. Do more of a scan. She will stand out many times.
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RayMarler
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2009, 10:11:29 PM »

Do you have more than one hive? If so, you can try this trick.

goto a hive and grab a frame of open larva, shake the bees off it, and put it into the hive you want to find the queen, just at the top or side of the broodnest, and close up the hive. Open it and check it in 5 minutes, most of the time the queen will be on it becauase she comes up the check out the strange smelling broodframe and to spread her pheromone on it.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2009, 11:04:42 PM »

And then there's this:

I've always been of the opinion that the queen is usually in the top 1/3 of the swarm cluster.  But there are exceptions, as I've found after swarms with the queen near the bottom.

On the other hand There is a place within a hive that you'll most likely find the queen.  I usually find the queen on frames 2,3 or 4 or 6,7. or 8 of the brood chamber in a 10 frame hive.  If not in the top brood box then in the lower.  I've been beekeeping for 50 years and with few exceptions I've found the queen on one of those frames.  Speeds up locating the queen dramatically, why look on every frame if you don't have to.  If i'm going into a hive with the intent to find the queen I look first on frame 4 of the upper brood box, then frame 3, then 2.  On the opposite side I look at frame 6, then 7, then 8.  If I don't find in the upper brood box I go to the lower one.   The most frames I've ever had to pull, when purposely searching for the queen is 10 on a double decked brood box.

With Mediums, and the brood box extending into 3 and even 4 brood boxes (8 frame), the procedure is the same.  I can still find a queen faster than anyone I know and I've been doing it since I was 10 years old.  List that under things my mentor taught me.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
IABeeMan
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 04:27:11 PM »

 I seldom find her when looking for her. On the other hand if I am not looking for her she is always there and easy to spot. I rarely actually look for the queen myself. If I see capped brood and new eggs I know she is there and don't worry about it. The only time I look for her is if I do not run across eggs.
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mherndon
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2009, 04:46:33 PM »

Homer,
    I was in the same situation, I only saw the queen one time when I bought the nuc and another during the summer when I inspected.  I had a mission this year since I wanted to do a split and needed to get my queen marked to make the split go smoothly.  Someone on here gave me advice to check the frames with the newest eggs and the most bees.  I located the newest eggs I thought I could find and removed that super.  I did have to go through the frames a couple of times in that super, but she was there.  Funny how she just stuck out when I did find her.  I saw every drown 2 times I think that day. grin  I had my marker ready and got her marked. tongue  Since then, I have spotted her every time I went in. Smiley  She does seem to be in the upper part of the brood chamber most of the time if not always.

Mark
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troutstalker2
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2009, 09:51:00 PM »

 

  Brian, am I missing something? why not frame 5?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 11:16:03 PM »

 

  Brian, am I missing something? why not frame 5?

Frames 5 and 6 are in the center of the hive, most queens aren't found in the center of the brood nest as they usually go to the outside of the brood chamber when the hive is disturbed.  After all, most of the wild critters that what into a bee hive, like bears, raccoons, and skunks, are more interested in consuming the brood combs as that is where the protien is.  Therefore, the queen goes towards the edge in an attempt to preserve the ability of the hive to continue after the damage is done.  This is called using nature to your advantage.

Also the line that reads: I usually find the queen on frames 2, 3, or 4, or 6, 7, or 8, of the brood chamber in a 10 frame hive should actually read:  I usually find the queen on frames 2, 3, or 4, or 7, 8, or 9 of the brood chamber in a 10 frame hive.
Sorry for the confusion.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
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