Do old queens pip?
I hived a swarm from an old milk can into a cardboard nuc this afternoon. The swarm was hanging on the inside of the milk can, so I scooped them out with a plastic cup into the box until they started fanning and then I just sat and watched them start marching into the box.
While I was watching I heard the queen piping. It wasn't the high pitched 'pip pip pip', but more like a finger druming or a frog croaking, a deep whirling sound. I am sure that was piping but I had never read anywhere about old queens piping, do they? I would not rule out that this could be a young queen, but the question remains the same.
I've had them do it when I was marking them. These were laying queens. So they obviusly CAN.
I hadn't heard it when they were swarming. But I wasn't listening for it either. Maybe I should. It would seem more likely from a virgin since she was piping not long ago in the hive. http://www.beesource.com/ubb/smile.gif