Where is the queen....

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by elliottyellow, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. elliottyellow

    elliottyellow New Member

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    Hello all, I am a newer beekeeper /Host. We inherited a bee family and inspected them for the second time today. We were looking for queen in the hopes to mark her today but still could not find her. What we did find is what we think are queen bee cups. I am not sure if they are emergency or what not. We will inspect again next week and I will take pictures and post them. To me it looked like about 5 queen cups and I could see in a few of them and saw large larvae. They are not peanut shaped and big however so I am wondering if they are just drones. Whatever the case we are pretty sad that we have not found her yet. There is larvae in the brood, but the cups threw us off. Any input would be great!
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Welcome to the forum. A picture is worth a thousand words. A queen cup or Queen cell will be built out larger and out from the face of the comb or on the bottom of the frame if swarm cells. It may be drone. Post us a pic when you go in again and we can better help you. Again welcome to the forum you found a great knowlegeable group of people.
     

  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum :hi:Is it corrrect to assume that Davis is in Ccalifornia?
    No matter though, wherever you come from , we're glad to have you with us, even if your queen isn't yet marked.
    Queen cups are a regular finding in all healthy hives. Bees just seem to like having a few of them around---it's sort of like a security blanket for them. Even with a first class, healthy, young laying queen the bees will spread a few queen cups around the combs. So long as they are empty ( which is almost all of the time) you can ignore them.
    If your hive is calm, try looking for the queen slowly, start looking around the edges of each comb and then on the surface. Queens like to avoid being seen and when disturbed, will often rush to the edge of the comb and move to the side out of view. Another "trick" is to puff smoke only on one side of the nest, and start examining the frames from the smoked side. The queen will often work her way to the other side of the hive, avoiding the smoke. After the first two frames are outside of the hive, you can spread each frame before removing it so as to prevent unintentional rolling of the queen
    Above all, when checking for your queen, hold the frames over the hive while examinig them. You don't want your queen to fall off and get lost in the grass.
     
  4. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    For your first inspections, be happy to see capped brood, larva and eggs. If you see eggs, you know she was on that frame within the last 72 hours. I usually find the queen on a frame with eggs in it. I suggest you practice marking a few drones so you will be proficient when you do find the queen. :)

    :eek:fftopic: Queens are fun to find. I opened a hive this morning that was making their own queen from a few swarm cells -I split the hive, so they are not actually swarming. When I raised the frame having queen cells on my visit last week, I heard a queen piping! I found a giant empty queen cell and started looking for the queen. I soon found her and harvested three unhatched queens. I opened those three queen cells and put each in a hair roller cage and put them over a queen excluder in a NUC until I decide what I want to do with them. A good day for a hobbyist.
     
  5. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    hi elliot,
    welcome to the forum!
    to add to all the great advice given go here to this link in the forum, post #1, there are queen cells in my hive, what should i do, also discusses queen cups, and why they might be there:

    queen cell identification
     
  6. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    Queens can be elusive. Last year I think I found the queen twice in about two dozen inspections. I seldom inspect more than about 4 frames though. You can learn more about the queen from looking for eggs/young larvae and at the overall brood pattern than actually looking at the queen.
     
  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Hi Elliott, welcome to the forum! :smile:

    I suggest you start googling for images of queen cells, larvae, bee eggs, capped brood (worker and drone), and drone bees.
    You need to be able to understand what you are looking at before you start messing around with the queen.
    I strongly suggest you do not attempt to mark your queen until you are a little more adept at identifying and handling your bees and frames.
    Queens are delicate, and if you damage her you will set the hive back about a month, and you will have to then hope they raise a new queen without mishap. You don't as yet have other hives to just grab handy frames of eggs from if your queen gets damaged.
    Right now, you know you have a laying queen, so be careful when inspecting or moving frames around- don't put frames back in a different order until you know when/why you might want to do that.
    Now's the time to learn as you look, and to get more comfortable with going into the hive every week or two...but my recommendation is to not pick up the queen and try to mark her- many new BK's have lost or injured their queen by trying to mark her before they have any experience handling the bees. It's better to practice marking drones for a while, and just practice looking for the queen- believe me, you get better at spotting her as time goes on, even without marking her. ;) I never mark my queens, but that's just me.
    Hope some of this helps. Have fun learning!
     
  8. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Welcome to the forum from across the pond. :hi:

    You will get good friendly advice and info from this site. Keep asking the questions. The answers will help you and other new keeps.
     
  9. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Welcome and good luck. Lots of good advice on the forum.
     
  10. elliottyellow

    elliottyellow New Member

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    Awe thanks for all the encouraging messages. We are super excited about our new bee family, although reading about 4 books and researching like a mad women before getting them I still feel stumped about the Queen. But maybe she is just hiding. We will take another look this weekend maybe and I will for sure post pictures! Thanks guys, and we are happy to be on the forum!
     
  11. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Just so you know, I would bet that most of us regular beekeepers don't spend much time trying to find the queen when we are inspecting our hives. If we see fresh eggs, or larvae that are just a couple days old then we know she is in there and laying, and that's good enough for most purposes. There are certain times when we really want to locate the queen, like if we are making a split, but for general inspections it's the eggs and brood pattern that tell us the most important story. :thumbsup:
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    elliottyellow,
    looking forward to any pix, we love pix! and also helps others too. like omie said~

    "I would bet that most of us regular beekeepers don't spend much time trying to find the queen when we are inspecting our hives. If we see fresh eggs, or larvae that are just a couple days old then we know she is in there and laying, and that's good enough for most purposes. There are certain times when we really want to locate the queen, like if we are making a split, but for general inspections it's the eggs and brood pattern that tell us the most important story"

    as far as "regular beekeepers'.......we are not normal.....:lol:
    (ps. she meant in our routine inspections, and that is true, just found the regular beekeeper thing funny....:grin:)

    and here is a helpful link:

    judging the quality of a queen

    :grin:
     
  13. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    elliotyellow:
    Welcome to the friendliest bee forum on the internet.
    Omie is right, after you've inspected your hive a few more times, you can spot the queen. As long as you can see evidence-eggs, or very young brood, you know the queen is present.
    Riverbee-as far as your comment about regular beekeepers----I'll have you know that I've not had to use a laxative in years.:lol:
     
  14. elliottyellow

    elliottyellow New Member

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    731302411c441dffdca9e2b10104b1cc.jpg Because I have yet seen a queen in the month I have had them and 3 inspections I was curious about these! So if anyone can tell me if that is a bad thing and if these are queen cups?
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    those look more like capped drone cells.
     
  16. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    what tecumseh said, these look like capped drone cells. :grin:
     
  17. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    welcome to the forum elliottyellow Like others have said finding the queen can be a challenging but as long as the signs that she is in the hive I would not worry about finding her. Caped brood larva and eggs (hard to see in new white comb so don't be alarmed at not spotting them). Bees bringing in pollen on there back legs, queenless hive don"t bring in very much pollen
     
  18. elliottyellow

    elliottyellow New Member

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    Horray finally found the QUEEN!

    bee hossting 1.jpg Have another question, I added a super a few weeks ago because the family we inherited are an already functioning colony. The super today had 2 frames covered in comb and bees. Is it possible to take honey frames from below and add to the above super? Pretty much switch with a new frame from new super so that we can create a honey situation up top and the brood and other activity down below? Or should I just let the new super fill out on its own? We have a queen exclude r. Want to not disturb them, but I am noticing that a few of the honey frames has broods as well is that okay?
     
  19. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    elliottyellow, not sure i am following what you said......
    "The super today had 2 frames covered in comb and bees. Is it possible to take honey frames from below and add to the above super? Pretty much switch with a new frame from new super so that we can create a honey situation up top and the brood and other activity down below? Or should I just let the new super fill out on its own?"..........
    "We have a queen exclude r. Want to not disturb them, but I am noticing that a few of the honey frames has broods as well is that okay?"

    what is your hive setup? if you have a honey super above a queen excluder and there is brood in the honey frames, then your queen is in your honey super, so you would need to find her and place her back down below the excluder and out of your honey super. if you have multiple honey supers (medium boxes on?), yes, you can move a honey frame up from one box to another to encourage them to work the next super. but the first box(honey super) needs to be more than 2 frames full of capped honey, before moving one up......
    sorry if i misunderstood what you said?
     
  20. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Like Riverbee, I too found your description of the situation a bit unclear. But I'll still try to give an answer.---it just might not be to the question you were asking.
    In managing a hive, beeks usually want to keep the brood in the bottom box and the honey in the upper boxes (supers). Sometimes the queen doesn't cooperate easily with that aim and gets where we don't want her to lay (even in spite of there being an excluder above the brood box).
    There is nothing wrong with shifting the positions of honey frames from down below to the super above and moving frames from above, that contain developing brood, to down below. Make sure that the brood frames are together, without frames of pollen or honey separating the brood nest into different areas of the brood box.
    If the queen has been laying in the super, make sure you find her and move her down below so she'll lay where she's supposed to and not recreate the same problem of having brood above the excluder. Another option is to move the queen down below and let the brood in the frames above the excluder hatch out, vacate their cells and then let the bees fill up the empty cells with honey. The advantage with that method is that frams that have served for brood rearing are stronger and less liable to break during the extraction process.
    Either way, the most important thing is to be sure that your queen is below the excluder.