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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Jefferson Co, TX

    Default Queen recovery tips

    Ok, I am not old and my eyesight is not terrible, but I am having heck finding queens. So far I am 0 for 4 on cutouts, one hive has made their own queen, who is laying for 2 weeks, but I have not been able to see her either.

    Any tips for finding the queen during a cut out.

    Typically I am exposing the outer comb, vacuuming bees from the edge and bottom, then remove a layer of comb. Do the same again. I left the last cut out there over night in a hive box (brood and some honey with a pile of bees dumped in), but in the morning there was a cluster the size of a football where the comb had been. Vacuumed those and brought everything home. Still missed her.

    Any help will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    San Mateo, CA

    Default Re: Queen recovery tips

    I am 100% queenright on three cutouts and fourteen swarms vacuumed this year using a Bushkill vac. What kind of vac are you using? I am now vacuuming all swarms unless 100% of the bees can be dropped easily into a beetight super. Or I can cut and carry the swarm over to it's stand. The wrong kind of hose or too much suction or a hard landing into a vac box is tough on queens.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Rockford, MI

    Default Re: Queen recovery tips

    Bee behaviour will tell you where the queen is. Typically, bees will part the way when a queen strolls past. Also the bees seem alot calmer on the comb she is on.
    The best tip I can give you is to take your time and be mythodical during the cutout process. She will tend to be on the last piece of brood comb IF you don't spook them too much. IF you spook them and they run to cluster she will be in the cluster.
    Last but not least, I will leave a piece of brood comb overnight if I have to. She will be on it when you return.
    Oh yeah..... time, practice and patience will help immensely when looking for a queen in your hive.
    Once you get the hang of it, you will even be able to spot a virgin queen. THEY are tough to spot.


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