Re: Queen bee "narcolepsy"?
Mike Palmer explained this to me and it makes sense. Sometimes if the abdomen is inadvertently touched too aggressively, the queen will faint. Since my sabbatical to Vermont this spring, I never use a queen muff nor a marking tube anymore. Mike taught me how to grab a queen by the wings then gently cradle her between my index finger and thumb, and make a "floor" with the side of the tip of my middle finger. Grab the queen by the wings in the right hand, if you're right handed, then cradle her in the index finger and thumb of your left hand. This now frees your right hand to use your marking instrument. To return the queen to the hive, grab her by the wings again with your right hand, then set her down on a top bar, so that her legs grip the surface, BEFORE letting her wings go. She will then slither down between the frames like a sleuth crocodile going into a sewer! That's the imagery I conjure when I see her going down inside the hive to escape the beekeeper.
"...the most populous colonies ...are provided by queens ...in the year following their birth." Brother Adam