This evening after work I was out at my hives gathering pollen as usual. One of the hives has produced less pollen than I expected all along but the hive is only moderately strong so I decided to take a look at the hive itself to make sure it was OK. I'm using the Sundance top pollen trap.
When I took the lid off and looked into the pollen trap - getting ready to take it off - there was a Queen in there in the exit cone area - just walking around. A single other bee was on her back, sort of piggy back style catching a ride as the Queen walked around. The rider did not seem to be trying to harm the Queen.
All I can figure is that the hive produced this queen who was able to get out of the cone exit when immature yet once she mated and fattened up, she couldn't get back into the hive through the screen.
I took the pollen trap off and shook her back into the hive. I didn't have anything to put her in to hold her separately, didn't need to split any of the other hives - so I figured there was a 50 - 50 chance that the hive needed a new queen. She just ran around on the wall of the hive sort of fast, here there, everywhere. She seemed a bit wobbly then disappeared down into the hive. I hadn't looked into this hive for a few weeks.
Went back an hour later - the hive was quiet, no sign of the queen. Don't know if she made it or not.
Anyone else had this happen to them?