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Author Topic: Queen flew away!  (Read 867 times)
mswartfager
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« on: September 01, 2009, 05:58:47 PM »

Inspection of hive today - two deeps w/ten frames drawn out, no supers.  Noticed that about 1/3 of bees not there since last inspection about 3 weeks ago.  These bees were bought locally in a nuc this spring and have always been easy to work with. Currently, n ot much brood.  Only about two frames with good solid brood pattern.  I didn't see any eggs, but my lighting was poor.  I saw only a few larva and pupa stages of development.  Some uncapped honey was present and some pollen was present.  There were many capped queen cells.  I did find the Queen and she looked perfect, then she flew away while I was looking at her.    Huh 

Any suggestions on what is happening and what to do?  I'm in my second year with a mentor that is hard to get in touch with.

Thank you for any help.

Mark
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 06:10:24 PM »

you may have sent a virgin out on a mating flight  smiley.  they usually are smaller and harder to identify, but once a queen is bred, it's not to often she flies off the frames.  watch for a clump of bees around the hive somewhere.  if you really had your queen fly off, chances are attendants will join her if she doesn't make it all the way back to the hive.  how's your drone count?  if you lost her, sounds like you have others coming.  sounds like they were replacing the original queen.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
mswartfager
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 06:36:14 PM »

Thanks for the reply. 

She really flew off!  I couldn't believe my eyes.  Never happened before.  I didn't know what to do but watch her go!?! 

Drone count seemed to be a little more than usual, but little to no capped drone cells.

I wonder why so many capped queen cells?
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 06:48:13 PM »

since you note fewer bees, you may have had a swarm and those cells are replacements for the queen that left.  they may also be replacing the queen that is (was) still there.  as long as you still have plenty of drones and they have already made the cells, you have the option of letting them requeen themselves.  that would be my choice at this point.  if you mess with those cells, or try to introduce a queen, you'll probably lose her.

keep an eye on the hive and make sure someone is laying in there in the next couple of weeks.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
mswartfager
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 07:55:11 PM »

Thanks again.  The queen that flew away looked like what I normally see as a healthy, laying queen. 

There were so many other capped queen cells still in there, so I would guess they could easily re-queen.
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asprince
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2009, 08:00:53 PM »

I had a new queen fly away once.......sure gives you a sick feeling especially if you paid $25.00 for her.


Good Luck,

Steve
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2009, 12:18:03 PM »

I have occasionally seen a laying queen fly, but it's pretty rare.  Leave the lid open, shake a frame of bees back into their own box  to set them nasonoving.  Wait ten minutes.  Close it up.  If you stand there the ten minutes it will improve the odds as she often orients on that tall white thing (the beekeeper).
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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