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What does this mean?

Help! This is the front of my flow hive this morning
Last monday while doing a hive inspection, i damaged a large section of foundationless comb
I tried to put it back in place and clean up what i could
Does this gathering of bees mean I killed the queen and they are leaving hive?
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated

Hi Marc, don’t panic :hugs: - it’s possible your queen could have been hurt or killed, but not certain. If she is lost, the bees’ response will not be to leave the hive but to make a new queen. The fact that they’re congregating outside could be just normal population overflow in warmer weather, or maybe related to a honey spill and/or brood cleanup activity inside due to your mishap.

By the looks of your photo, I wonder if they were washboarding? This is when young bees hang out on the ‘porch’ and facing wall of the hive and move back and forth in unison. It’s an odd but cool phenomenon that, to my knowledge, has yet to be explained in the field of entymology. Washboarding seen as a sign of a healthy colony though, so keep a lookout for it and other signs at the entrance and bottom tray to monitor things until your next inspection.


Thanks Eva that is reassuring

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Hello Marc, relax mate, if the inspection and subsequent damage you did 5 days ago was enough for the colony to move out of the hive they would have been gone by now. The bees would have already done any repairs needed. There is no way of knowing if you killed the queen or not until you do the next inspection and look at the brood frames.
Maybe what you are seeing is the effect of a hot day when some bees will move out of the hive to reduce the amount of ‘body heat’ inside.
When doing an inspection slow down your movements and give the bees time to move out of the way. With frames that aren’t wired or with some reinforcing of comb being made it is easy for it to sag or break if it isn’t held vertically.

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@Marc1 and Welcome. I’m a new BEEK. Here is a video that will help you with Brood Inspection and foundationless comb/frames.


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Thanks I am going to do an inspection soon to look for queen

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Excellent video thanks!

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You welcome @Marc1. I will being doing my first inspection tomorrow or Monday. I just install my package of bees and my Saskatraz Marked Queen this oases Thursday. Check my you tube channel below.