After I realized the reason hive 2 absconded, robbing, I wanted to make sure my remaining hives weren't in jeopardy. All are good on stores and the queens are doing good except in hive 5.
I was looking for the queen on the frames and couldn't find her, as was the case the last two inspections. Didn't really worry about because I know you won't always find the queen. The last time I was in the hive a week ago and didn't find the queen, I notice a cluster of bees on the screen of the bottom board. I have the bottom board out so it is just the screen. I just thought the queen was down there no big deal.
On todays inspection the queen wasn't on the frames so I look down on the screen and there was the cluster of bees. There was another cluster of bees on the outside of the screen also. I moved the bees around that was on the inside of the screen hoping to find the queen and she wasn't there. So I took the hive off the bottom board and turned the screen upside down and move the bees around and low and behold there was the queen. She was on the outside of screened bottom board. I tried to pick her up but couldn't get a grip on her. I slid my hive tool under her and picked her up and then, to my surprise, she flew off. I didn't think she could fly. She has a big butt.
Before I came in for the night I checked the bottom board and she was back. Tomorrow I will try and get her back into the hive again.
I have a couple of question I hope some of you might have the answer to.
1: Why would the queen leave the hive and hang out on the underside of the screened bottom board?
2: What did she do, just decide to go for a walk or did they throw her out?
3: Do you think she will go back in on her own? She hasn't yet and I think she has been out there for at least a week.
The good news is the bees in the hive are still taking care of her needs.