Do queens take cleansing flights?
I'm a first year beekeeper and I'm not great at spotting the queen on combs yet. But this happened on the landing pad on the front of the hive.
It was around 1:00pm Sunday and the temperature was around 42*F. A few bees were flying around at one of my 2 hives. Out came a bee that, if I were a betting man, I would have sworn was the queen but she stood there briefly and flew off. She was significantly longer than the other worker bees near her and she had a tapered abdomen with the wings not nearly as long. She definitely wasn't a drone with the squarish abdomen.
Do queens take cleansing flights this time of year? Do they quit laying eggs long enough to slim down?