Queen in top pollen trap
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default Queen in top pollen trap

    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?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,888

    Default

    Does this colony have any brood?
    When was the last time you empty the pollen trap?
    How long could she have been trapped?
    You will need to watch this hive and see if there is a mated laying queen.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Larkspur, Colorado
    Posts
    38

    Default Queen in pollen trap

    Put a queen excluder under the top pollen trap.

    Steve
    Steven Lechner<br />[email protected]<br />303.657.5360

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,888

    Default

    A queen excluder will not stop a virgin queen nor a swarm queen that has been slimmed down for flight.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,017

    Default

    I thought a queen excluder was sized based on the thorax, not the abdomen (though I've watched a swarm queen wriggle through an excluder. So much for "Separating the queen by smoking them through an excluder"). Does the thorax change based on feeding?
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    32

    Smile Trapped queen - Thanks

    It's been about 3 weeks since I looked in the hive. I didn't break it all the way down at that time though I looked in the top brood chamber and didn't see any queen cells. There was capped brood, uncapped brood at the time. I don't recall if I saw eggs or not.

    I go to collect pollen from this hive every day. It's a gentle hive with a lot of activity.

    I'll take a closer look this weekend to see if there are eggs. The queen was so agitated yesterday when I shook her into the hive, I figured I needed to let her settle down before I did any serious investigation within the hive.

    I'd be interested in how the excluder is sized - virgin queens can be pretty small.

    Thanks.

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