The other day, I was about to shake some bees off a frame to fix some crooked comb when I noticed my queen was on that frame! I narrowly avoided shaking her onto the ground in front of the hive. If I had actually done that, could a queen find her way home from that distance, or would I have been screwed? I really scared myself there!
They often do get home
Why do you shake them to the ground? I always shake mine back into the hive.
She would most likely walk into the nearest hive.
As @Chipper said, please don’t shake them onto the ground - always over the hive. If your queen is clipped (hopefully not) she may have trouble flying back to the hive. Also, a well-mated, good laying queen may have trouble flying anyway with her small wings and huge abdomen. Hives starve queens before swarming, to help make the queen airworthy!
What @Dawn_SD said. I would never shake them on the ground except to screen for a laying worker. from what i’ve learned new/nurse bees don’t fly well and prefer to walk to they may not find their way back into the hive. I could be wrong though. Still always shake into the hive
The main reason to not shake them on the ground without a very good reason, is they will crawl up your pant leg… the next is that you will accidently step on them…
I wouldn’t shake any frames in front of a hive unless I know exactly where the queen is first. Also you/we wouldn’t want to shake any newly hatched bees in front of a hive. A good trick if your hive is elevated off the ground & you do have baby bees or even the queen crawling around on the ground is to place a stick between the ground & the entrance so they can walk up it.
The only reason I even was going to shake them off was that it was a frame from the honey super (so I assumed no or few baby bees) and the hive was too high for me to comfortably shake over it with the super on. This was before I put in the queen excluder. I usually just lay frames aside and let the bees stay on them, but this one had crooked comb I wanted to fix that was too covered in bees Sure taught me to be more careful though.
Ok I am real new and waiting for my bees next week, but why would you touch the comb? Shake or disturb it?
You need to inspect the brood nest fairly regularly during the swarm season . There are times when you need to shake ALL the bees off the comb … to check for disease, to spot eggs confirming the presence of your queen and to look for queen cells, are three examples.
The brood box I wasn’t going to mess with the flow frames but I will time to time check them. With the frames without wire I would be afraid to shake them. Saw the video of the comb dropping, LOL I feel like a new mother,
Then you will lose swarms
Those bees know how to hide those queen cells
Didnt know that! Thanks for the education!
That’s why we’re here Both to learn and offer advice.
there’s no need for the flow frames immediately, build up your brood box first then when its ready (last frames are filling up on the outside) then its time to add the flow super. If you’re in a colder climate you’ll probably need two brood boxes. Browse through here and watch alot of youtube. Tons of great videos on beginning beekeeping.
Dee what do you mean by loose swarms?
She actually wrote “lose swarms”. I am sure that @Dee will answer, but I believe that what she means is that if you don’t shake bees off the brood frames during an inspection, you will miss a Queen cell hiding under the busy bodies of a mass of bees. Somehow bees seem to rejoice in hiding queen cells. So if you miss one, you don’t know that the bees are planning to swarm, so you don’t take preventative action. If you don’t act, you will lose half of your hive (or more) to a swarm.