Queen in super, what should I do?

I have my Queen excluder on but the queen bee still got in Super. Is this ok? Should I remove her and put her back in brood box? Thank you.

Welcome to the forum, Haley.

You might have a damaged excluder.

If she stays above the QE, she’ll lay eggs in the Flow frames. Being larger than worker cells, you’ll likely get drones which will be trapped above the QE. Very messy.

I suggest you get a quality metal QE and get your queen back in the brood box ASAP. If you can’t find her, shake off all the bees into the brood box, return the QE and super and check for eggs in a few days to confirm she’s back in the brood box.

If the brood box is too full to shake in the super bees, you can use a board about 8”-12”x36”-48” as a ramp up to the entrance from the ground. Drape a sheet or drop cloth over it and shake off the bees onto the ramp. They’ll march straight in and it’s easy to spot the queen.


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Hi @aussiemike. I think this is the Queen(see attached)….am I correct? I have searched for her before being a new beekeeper it’s difficult. I got this nuc about March/April……they filled bottom in about about 7 weeks, then I added Super. They gradually went in super. The other day super had lots of bees(see attached), how often should I check super? So now I’m worried that after I found Queen at the top, I don’t see the bees too active in the Super anymore but I do hear all the buzzing when I approach hive.

Thanks for help.

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That’s a drone. You can tell by the big boggly eyes and round bum. But if he can get up there so can your queen so follow the advice above to get another QE and shake all the bees into your brood box.


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I agree that what you circled is a drone. I don’t know how he got up there, unless he emerged out of a Flow cell, which would mean the queen has been up above the QE for at least 25 days. I’d advise to check the Flow frames, especially before harvesting any honey from them.

I have found that no QE is perfect. I found gaps in metal QEs that queens manage to fit through. The good news is that those gaps can be filled, whereas plastic QEs buckle & warp, which allows the queen to find a way through, which can’t be fixed.

The aftermath of brood in Flow frames, means that cocoons get left behind, which makes honey hard to flow, as experienced by a client of mine.

The bottom line of my advice is to physically check the Flow frames before every harvest. In doing so, you’ll spot any brood, plus you’ll see what percentage is capped.


Hi Haley and welcome! What a gorgeous hive - did you paint that?? It’s really pretty :cherry_blossom:

Since the bee you thought was possibly the queen was actually a drone, I am not convinced you have a problem with your queen excluder - esp since your setup is brand new. Another way it could have gotten in there is that a flying drone landed inside the top when you had the lid off at one point, or if you didn’t replace it tightly enough.

You want to be checking the brood box regularly, not so much the super (except as @JeffH said before harvesting). It can seem cumbersome but if you remove a few frames first and rest them in an empty deep it will be easier to lift off. Make sure to put it down carefully on a couple of bricks or boards to minimize chances of squashing bees hanging out on the edges.

Carefully take off the QX - smoking really comes in handy to push the bees down including the queen in case she’s on the underside. Shake any remaining bees off of it and set it down, then you can do your inspection & find out if there’s a problem with brood rearing. It’s possible that in your area the season is winding down a bit and population drops at this time of year, but I can’t be sure. It’s good to find a local beekeeping club and ask about the seasonal patterns.

Good luck & let us know what you find out!

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Hi!!! Yes we did paint it. Each of my kids chose a side and painted how they liked it.

It’s full blown summer here……very hot. Thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it. I plan on doing the check tomorrow.

@JeffH and @aussiemike thank you so much for all the advice.

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Hi Haley, you’re welcome. I agree with @Eva that the drone possibly flew onto the crown board from outside. If you do the brood check by removing some Flow frames before removing the super, you’ll soon see if they contain any brood.

I tried to get my client to leave the hole in the crown board open & lift the roof once every 2 weeks, so as to monitor the population. That way we’d know when it’s time to split the hive before the bees swarmed, as they had previously done. This bloke was NOT hands on with his hive. One time he lifted the roof to be confronted with many loud drones that were trying to get out. He didn’t realize that drones don’t sting, he didn’t even know they were drones. He phoned me to inform me that it was time to split the hive. The split was my reward/fee. Needless to say, the queen got up through the QE before laying thousands of eggs in the Fframes, resulting in many drones up in the roof trying to exit the hive, plus a nice pile of dead drones trying to get through the QE. The plastic QE was 18 months old, which buckled, then obviously allowed a big enough gap for the queen to fit through.

The queen found the gap again to go back into the brood box, where she merrily continued working. It was only luck that the bloke didn’t harvest honey while brood was in the Fframes. Squashed brood is a real magnet for hive beetles to lay eggs in. Plus who wants brood juice in their honey?

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