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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    386

    Default Virgin queen flew off

    I was adding a frame of emerging brood to boost the population of a cast swarm that i caught last week. While the cover was off the queen quickly popped up between two frames and flew off. Her abdomen looked larger than when i last saw her, so I am pretty sure she has been out of the hive to mate. What are the chances of her returning?
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    van buren michigan
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    Exactly what happened whit me
    My queen flies off me though she will come back, next day when I check the hive was empty
    Not even bees inside just maybe 10-20 bees but was very small hive surviving after I receive new nuc probably 80-90 off the bees was deed when I open the nuc
    I thought I will help to make it give it frames whit cap broad hood but now is gone ……

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    I have heard that when this happens, you leave the hive in the same state it was when she left. IE, if the cover was off, leave it off. When she takes off, she orients herself. She flies around and checks out the hive. Then she leaves. When she comes back she looks for the hive that she left. If you change it after she leaves, she's up the creek.

    I'm so OCD, I would probably stand there in the same spot for a half hour so my body would not be gone either.

    Kinda like when Karl Childers sat on the bed all night and never went to sleep. Slingblade...anyone?

    It's late.
    Try it. What could happen?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    I've had countless queen fly off on me after I mark them (and a few just before I mark them...). So far, I've never had a problem with them coming back.

    Probably just jinxed myself, but there you have it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Marietta, OH
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    Last year I was timidly trying to catch a queen to mark her. She flew off. Next day she was back in the hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    Mine flew off, never to return again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,786

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    Next time a queen flies do this:

    1) don't move (she will orient on you)
    2) don't close the hive (she need to smell it)
    3) pick up a frame with bees and shake them back down into the hive. You will see them come to the top, put their butts in the air and start fanning Nasonov pheromone. (they will guide her back)
    4) wait and watch until you either see her return (she is noticeably larger) or ten minutes have passed

    Close it up and go home...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    Thanks for all of the feedback.

    I did leave the hive open for 10 or 15 minutes and saw bees fanning. I didn't see her fly back in, but there were a lot bees in the air. Any thoughts on how long to wait before checking to see if she has returned?
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,786

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    A queen is usually laying two weeks after she emerges. Estimate that date and check then.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    A queen is usually laying two weeks after she emerges. Estimate that date and check then.
    She was one of two queens in a swarm caught last Wednesday. I am assuming that when she flew with the swarm that she was ~21-24 days old. I removed the includer on Sunday morning, so she has had 4 days of decent weather to mate. Assuming 3 days delay post mating, by Monday she would be 32-35 days old and laying?
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,786

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    If she is more than 21 days old and not laying she will end up a drone layer.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If she is more than 21 days old and not laying she will end up a drone layer.
    Sorry I meant 32-35 days since her eggs was layed. So 16-19 days old. I am guessing a bit, as I don't know a what age virgins fly off with a cast swarm.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,786

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    A virgin with a swarm is usually flying the first nice day after she emerged, but she was likely confined for a few days before that, so she's probably four days old, give or take.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    As a quick follow up, I checked today and she was back and laying. Thanks again
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,786

    Default Re: Virgin queen flew off

    > I am assuming that when she flew with the swarm that she was ~21-24 days old.

    No, she would be ~0 to 6 days old unless it's been raining a lot and the swarm couldn't leave...

    Glad she is back.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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