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Disaster avoided I think


Here is the short story until I have time for a longer one…

I was checking my hives that were installed last weekend. The queen were loose on Monday. I checked today for brood. Fiund the queen and brood in both. Then was admiring the activity in front of my 3 week old hive and looked down to see one of my queens walking on the ground. Frantically reopened the other 2 to find which one as missing the queen. I found it and returned her. She must have jumped on my clothes or soemthing.

Ill give more details later.


WOW! Lucky that you spotted her, have to be more careful. :sweat_smile:


When you do the hive inspections, keep the frames over the hive . If Queenie does fall off, abscond etc it will be into the brood box.

I had the opposite. Tried to catch Queenie and she kept slipping through the side of the frame. took 3 goes - they have slimmed her down to swarm and she has got some legs on her.


Wow, well done on spotting her, that’s a lesson learnt. It just shows how easy it is to lose a queen & one of the reasons a hive becomes queenless.


I have no idea how the queen ended up on the ground in front of a different hive 2 hives over. She must had somehow gotten on me. I had spotted her when I looked at her hive and I alway try to hold the frames over the hive so if bees fall they go back into hive. Prior to the inspection I had removed the qe from under the hive since it had been a week since installing the package (since I lost my first package from absconing, I did one package with an qe under and one without but both with lemongrass oil in the hive). I closed the hive up and inspected the second hive that never had a qe. I spotted their queen, saw some uncapped brood, and closed it up.

My third hive I had started a merge with some other bees the day before and not all the bees got into the box. So I was admiring the small clusters hanging on the outside smelling their buddies closed up in the top box seperated by newspaper. There was lots of activity at the entrance but no fighting that I could tell. The top feeder had leaked over night and soaked the newspaper but I don’t think they had chewed through yet.

So anyway, I looked down and saw a queen which really confused me. I wondered if a virgin queen had come in the package I was merging. So like I said I frantically reopened the other 2 hives to see if I could find their queens. In the mean time, I picked up the queen (she acted like she couldn’t fly) on the ground and took her over to the hive I suspected she came from. 50/50 chance, if I was wrong I would be short a queen. I eventually found the queen from the hive that I thought still had theirs and could not find the queen from the hive I suspcted she came from.

In the mean time I had put the queen near the entrance to the hive I guessed she belonged to to see how they treated her. They emmediately started to cluster on her, more and more as time went on. They were slowly coming out of the hive. It didn’t look like they were trying to hurt her. I felt I had limited time to decide. I eventualy put her on top of the hive. A few bees immediately surrounded her but only looked like they were kissing her and not hurting her. She soon decided to go down between some frames and no bees seemed to follow or mind.

Is it safe to assume that the way the hive acted with her that I got it right? I am sure she didn’t come from the other hive since I saw their queen. Do queens ever fly around be themselves? Why did she have trouble flying ?


A good tip for beginners is to have a spare nuc box handy. When you see the frame the queen is on you can pop that…and her…into the box and you can continue your inspection without fear of losing her.


@Dee good idea, will use that advice when doing inspection. :wink: