Visit from a Virgin Queen?

Hey there.
I just got an empty second hand Flow Hive. It’s still dismantled on my deck, but today, what looked to be a Queen bee paid it a visit. She sat on it for ten minutes s or so, just enough time for my son to come and get me. I took a picture and was thinking about what I should do (I’m about to take a split a a start a second hive) when she flew off.

What’s the consensus here? Would it be likely to be a virgin queen from a nearby hive? What other possibilities are there? Is it in fact a Queen? It looks like it to me but I’m no expert.


Hi @djaef , I’m thinking it’s not a queen as the wings usually don’t extend to the bottom of the abdomen, even in a virgin queen, also the ones I’ve seen have all had the same colour on the abdomen not striped…but I’m no expert either :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Yeah, I thought that myself about the wings and the stripes, but it’s clearly not just an ordinary worker bee or a drone, so what else can it be?

@djaef maybe a “yellow hairy flower wasp” :face_with_peeking_eye: ???

Hi Sara, I googled queen bee, then clicked on images. Look what showed up.


The first one is possibly an animated image, however this one looks real.


So where would it be from @JeffH ?

Hi Geoff, I have no idea. I always had the idea that virgin queens go to the DCA, get mated, before returning to their hive.

It could be as @Saraj suggested, a flower wasp of some kind. It’s worth remembering that there is about 15,000 species of bees & wasps that are native to Australia. The majority being wasps.

There is a fly that targets native bee hives, the Syrphid fly, which looks more like a wasp in my opinion. I used to see them hanging around, & always thought they were wasps.

Hi @JeffH , love the pictures :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:, the long wings had me puzzled as well. I’m off to look for images of the Syraphid fly you mentioned. Hope you & Wilma are keeping well x


I am familiar with wasps and flies. I don’t think there is any doubt that this was a bee. Didn’t have the big eyes of a fly. Just a Queen passing by, it seems…

I have had the privilege of visiting a virgin queen bee. This intriguing encounter with a young and unmated queen bee unveils a fascinating aspect of beekeeping. Virgin queens are distinguishable by their slender physique and vibrant appearance. Their sole purpose is to embark on a mating flight, where they’ll mate with drones from neighboring hives, thus ensuring genetic diversity within the colony. Witnessing this phase of a queen bee’s life offers a glimpse into the intricate world of bee reproduction and the pivotal role these regal insects play in maintaining the hive’s vitality.