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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newbie here, first post. Got two nucs just over a month ago. Both colonies doing great. They have filled out 2 deep brood boxes each and are now filling up a super each with honey. I have been 'inspecting' weekly to see what is going on. Went in today to see if I needed to put on another super and, because I want to make a nuc to overwinter, I wanted to see where I could find brood frames. While going through the super (no brood) and upper brood box (lots of sealed brood) from one hive, I noticed a large bee flying around me and the hive. I was wearing reading glasses to see into the cells so I didn't get a good look at the big bee but it circled around for several minutes. I have never found my queen during inspections, even when inspecting with the state bee inspector we didn't find a queen, so I don't really know what my queens look like. The big bee wasn't a bumble of any sort.

So, can a laying queen just fly off? Since I didn't see the big bee go back into the hive, if it was the queen what is the probability the hive is now queenless or, on the other hand, the probability that she found her way home?

Thanks

Bob
 

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when i inspect my hives, i virtually never look for my queen. If i have eggs or small C lava (eggs that are 4+ days old) Thats good enough for me. Now if i have no eggs, no lava and just capped cells... then i go looking for a queen cell, and or will go ahead and just move another frame of eggs/larva from another hive "just to make sure"

as to the OP... it was my understanding that a queen has to stop laying for several days and "slim down" in order to be small enough to fly. After that has happened then yes she will fly. (unless you clipped her wings)
 

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I direct released a breeder queen under a wire cage that covered a frame with no bees and emerging brood so nothing would happen to her. When I looked at the queen, her court and every emerged cell cleaned and with an egg in it, I thought I was home free ad pulled the wire cage to carefully put her down in the hive. I imagine I could see that fluorescent red dot on her back for thirty yards as she flew off! So, I have seen one laying queen fly!
 

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Yes a queen can fly but they will generally wait until the least opportune time to do so. As MB said, and it has been my experience as well, the fat laying lady will only fly several yards at best. Then she will land in some long grass where you will look on you hands and knees until your body is more red bug than water. Then you will decide she has disappeared and give up, go home and itch yourself half way to the grave where you actually wish you were.
I have also had new queens installed and seemingly accepted and, upon looking at the frame she is on, have her just take flight and go bye-bye. I suppose these queens loose enough weight while in the cage to become true flyers instead of chicken type flyers like the fat layers are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, my queen should have been fat and happy so based on some of the comments she should not have been airborne for as long as my 'big bee' was flying around so I will assume it wasn't the queen. Mid next week I will be back in the hive and if I don't find any eggs and I find emergency cells, I'll put my new queen in the hive instead of in the nuc...
 

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I direct released a breeder queen under a wire cage that covered a frame with no bees and emerging brood so nothing would happen to her. When I looked at the queen, her court and every emerged cell cleaned and with an egg in it, I thought I was home free ad pulled the wire cage to carefully put her down in the hive. I imagine I could see that fluorescent red dot on her back for thirty yards as she flew off! So, I have seen one laying queen fly!
HAHA, sorry, it had to be disappointing, but it is funny the way you worded it.
 
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