Smoke VERY lightly. Remove the lid and supers.
Look down at the frames and pick the 3 with the thickest mass of bees. Pull those 3 frames. Look them over for the queen AND HER COURT. Many times you can see her attendants all in a circle and facing her.
Also, look the frame over from a 45 degree angle. Many times she can be seen easier from that angle.
We do just like Iddee says. Most of the time finding the queen is an easy chore once you've gotten used to picking out those three frames of tightly clustered bees. After that it's just a matter of getting the right view and getting the other bees out of the way.
I usually pick the one on the right out of those to start with and gently blow across the surface of the frame where the bees are gathered the most tightly.... usually if the queen is there all the bees except those who are taking care of her will back away and you'll have a clear view of your Queen. (and if my kids are present there is a slight gasp and then the awed gushes about how pretty she is )
We've only had one hive that was a real challenge to find the queen after we watched Iddee do it once.
2) view the face of frames tangent to your line of site.... the queen abdomen will stick up much higher than either the workers or drones.
3) give a double look at the area near the bottom bars... when you flip the frame look at the similar area on the other side of the frame. hard to locate queens are often hiding here and scramble from one side of the comb to the other running away from the direct sunlight .
4) shake the bees thru a queen excluder... either one box or one frame at a time. on large and or highly populated hives where the queen is unmarked this is usually the strategy I utilize.
5) and the smoke'em till they choke method which sometimes works well for singles and story and a halves. smoke the entrance till the smoke comes pouring out the top entrance. wait about one minute and then pull the top cover and look there for the queen.
Do you want to see her because you haven't? Or do you have a problem? Like others say, young larvae or eggs, if your eyes are good, is an indicatorthat you have a queen and she is doing her job.
You could practgice seeing queens by finding a good photo of a queen on comb sorrounded by worker bees. Then once you get good at that, go to your hive. The picture will be imprinted on your brain and maybe that will make it easier to see her in real life.
she'll be on the last frame on which you look for her.
I read somewhere but haven't tried it, maybe some of you have. If you take a frame of brood from another hive and place it in the hive you want to find the queen in, and wait 10 min. the different pheromoe will draw her to that frame. Sounds like it would work? Jack
My very first colony of bees were draging the queen out ofthe hive 4 days after the install dead as a door nail. I called the package supplier who sent me a marked queen over night. We put her in the hive per the instructions so she was released in 4 days. 5 days (9 days total) latter we found her with not one dot of red on her like she had in the cage. I called the supplier who told me that some times the girls don't like the color so groom it off the queen.
You can spend to money to buy marked queens or mark them your self but best bet is to just look for the right laying pattern and eggs. After some pratiace they are usely easy to find. I have the most trouble with our darker ones.
I have a bunch of queen pictures and I don't thank a one of them has a court of workers around her. I also have pictures of queens on honey capped and not capped so that is a myth they won't go on honey.
The past 2 times I got in our hives the queen was on the first frame I pulled up!? But, I wasn't using any smoke. It took too long to get the thing started so I left it and got in the hives without it. I saw almost every one of our queens that day. The 2nd time, I had to do a sugar shake so I pulled the frame with the most bees on it and saw the queen. I almost scooped her into the jar on accident!