Have I still got a queen?

Hello Everyone,

VERY new beekeeper here.

My Bees arrived in a nuc, and after five days I transferred them successfully into the Flow Hive.

The blue dotted queen was there on the day we transferred, 27/12/15. but since then, I have not been able to see her.

I’m hoping you learned folk can tell me if all is going well with my hive.

Here are photos of some of the frames, and the last photo is a side by side comparison of the same frame 25 days apart.

Thank you.



Queens are very good at hiding.

She will be there if you have eggs
If you are worried (I must admit I do with mine) go back and look tomorrow, take your time and don’t pannic

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If you spotted eggs then she was there three days ago so no real reason to suspect she is not still there. If you saw eggs then don’t worry about looking in till next inspection is due.
If you HAVE lost your queen then you would have seen queen cells andI couldn’t see any. I had a good look for eggs but it’s difficult with the magnification and the dark comb
Rather than taking a picture of the whole frame concentrate on a close up of the areas where brood has emerged and the queen will be re-laying.

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Hi Valli,
Yes, I’ll have to have a good look for some eggs…
I think I’ll need my specs !

Hi Dee,

Thanks for the great idea on taking a close up photo.
I’ll do that with the next inspection.
Maybe then I’ll see some eggs, that will be reassuring.

I can see that you have larvae in there, so like you say she was there at a minimum until recently. You need to look for eggs as has been suggested above. I have been told by beekeepers in my local club that the queen will often hide in areas off of the frames when the hive gets cracked open. One gentleman uses slatted bottom boards and said he could never find her until one day he went all the way down below the slatted board and found her hiding underneath it. She could very well still be in there just keeping out of sight while you are doing inspections.

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Some folk have trouble finding eggs but it is an absolutely necessary skill. If you have trouble then invest in a bright white LED pen torch to shine into the cells.

I never bother looking for the queen unless I NEED to find her…making splits or re-queening.
See eggs and relax. Don’t get hung up about finding the queen.

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Wow @Dee, that’s a great tip. I’m going to invest in one of those. Most times I need sunshine & the times I like to work my bees, that’s hard to find. I could have used one of those yesterday afternoon.

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Yip Dee,

Love the new generation LED flashlights/torches. I use they all the time working on heating equipment so my old eyes function best. I know I will be using mine n a magnifier all the time to check. I lost one of my eye retinas so after surgery my vision is less quality

I’ll make an educated guess. Picture 3 at the top-bar just left of center there is a circle of worker bees tending to a bee under and in the middle of their circle. Many times workers make a circle around the queen and they are all facing her.


If the paint on her back is light blue in picture 4 on the right hand side 3" from the side bar in the center I see a blue spec under some bees.

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There’s another group of bees on the right hand side of that frame at the top. That looks to me like there might be some comb that broke away when the frame came out & the bees are cleaning up the honey that became exposed.

Hi adagna,

Yep, honing my “looking for eggs” skill, is on my to do list, thanks for spotting some larvae.
Cheers :slight_smile:

Thanks Dee,

I have one of these torches, great idea!

Wonder if a Welch Allyn otoscope would work… :imp: :mask:


Wow, I’m amazed at how you could ‘read’ the frames.
That’s experience and knowledge right there!
Thank you for your insights.:relaxed:

Hi JeffH,

Yes, you are right, some of the comb did break away when I separated the frames.
Some of the bees were ‘holding hands’ as I gently separated the frames, before lifting them up to inspect.


Ha! Had to go look up what that was…
I reckon it would work perfectly !
Could be a whole new market for used otiscopes.

Now I would find that really difficult to put to my eye with a fencing veil on

Well, I envisioned just using it as a light source, seeing that it is so bright. I bet you could get it close enough to your eye to use the magnifying lens too, but would it be worth risking a nose sting to do that?


By the way @Dee, did you draw your own avatar? I really like it.