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I installed a nuc April 15th this year. There's another beekeeper in the area with 5 years experience. He has been helping me watch the progress of the hive. Both of us have never seen the queen. I have lots of brood and honey. The bees have multiplied many times over. It is a healthy hive, BUT I can NOT find the queen. He thinks she must be hiding from us as we move and inspect the frames. Do I really need to find her until I'm ready to requeen next year or the next?
 

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Finding eggs means you had a queen within the past 3 days. See larvae, depending on the size of the larvae means the queen was present within 4-9 days (worker cells are capped at 9 days, drones are capped at 10 days).

Knowing the time for these things can help you determine how deep you need to inspect.
 

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No, no need to find her. You know she is there and doing what she does because of the results of what she does. Seeing queens doesn't tell you much. It's just nice to see her, like seeing a celebrity.

I have been working thru nucs cutting down their population and frames of brood by harvesting bees and brood from them, so I need to find the queens in these nucs or do something else like only take frames of brood and not any bees. While doing this I often feel as though the queen must be moving to the next comb each time I take out a frame and look it over. Sometimes doing this I find her on the wall of the box opposite where I started. This is only an illusion. Or is it.

One time I was looking for a queen w/ a friend in one of his hives which he wanted to requeen because he thought it was a hot hive of bees. This was a Brushy Mountain 8 frame hive. Took off the top cover, the inner cover, the feed er and the top super which had foundation in it. We went into the box where the brood was and started looking for the queen. We looked at every frame twice each. We looked on the inside walls of the hive. We looked everywhere, twice or more. Putting the hive back together, there she was on the inner cover. She had traveled up through a box of foundation and up through the gap in the middle of the feeder. Not at all what I would have expected. So, ya never know where she will be, but she is always in the last place you look for her, when you find her.
 

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Looking for eggs and egg pattern helps a lot. Sometimes you see the queen when you are just looking for eggs, as that's where she is, on the frames of eggs where she's laying. When she lays that egg, it's standing straight up in the center of the cell. The next day, it's tilted over quite a bit, and the next day it lays down and turns into a larva. So observing the eggs can tell you how long ago they were laid, so give you an idea of how long ago the queen was in that spot.
 

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Another thing you can try to find her is to blow on the a clump of bees she might be there. I have a 4 frame nuc that I know there is a queen in and I can not find here I have looked twice now and there is only 4 frames. On a friends hive we took off the top two boxes of 10 and looked thru the other eight and didn't find her I said she can't be in the top box but there she was. I actually prefer not find here I worry to much when I am putting it back together about squashing her.
 

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We had kind of the opposite problem, but the same headline: "Can't find the queen." Here's hoping she's really dead and gone and has no successor.

We had the queen fail in our strongest hive. She was last seen about 3 weeks ago, but her brood was already spotty and supercedure/emergency queen cells were showing up. We decided to let them raise a queen, but this week decided that effort had failed. It is possible that they raised a queen who has not yet started laying, but the hive had an absolute absence of brood or eggs of any sort except a few capped drone cells when we inspected thoroughly on Saturday, and we saw no new queen. Frames that had brood before were now completely filled with stores.

So we crossed our fingers, stuck a sheet of newspaper over our new nuc (in an 8-frame deep) with a productive VSH queen, and slapped the hopefully queenless colony on top with a top entrance. The top entrance was barely used. Evidently they punched thru almost immediately. Everyone was confused for a while at the new arrangement but they had that sorted out by the following morning. Workers from the upper boxes seem to be using the lower entrance, but are being frisked thoroughly by guard bees from the lower box. A couple of 2-bee scuffles have been seen, but hopefully we've avoided a civil war. Anyway, here's HOPING there was no queen in the older hive.
 

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Seeing queens doesn't tell you much. It's just nice to see her, like seeing a celebrity.
This made me chuckle. I used to worry if I didn't see the queen. Now, not so much. As long as the signs are there. It saves a lot of time when checking hives. When I had 2 hives it seemed more important to find her. I have 7 hives now (probably close to my limit), but there is a big difference in how much more time it takes if you feel the need to check every frame and see the queen every time.
 

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I totally abused my bees today looking for my queen in one of my hives today so I could squish her, she was very stop and go on laying they would draw SS cells and shed fire back up and lay a small patch about 2-3 in diameter so they would tear down the cells and she would stop . I saw her and almost caught her and shedropped off the frame into the hive so I went through every frame twice when I couldn't find her I set a queen excluded down and placed an empty box on top and dumped every frame and box I had into it when I was all done I put 2 frames in the top box and came backvan hr later and she was on one of the frames so I smashed her then pulled the excluded and then dropped in a frame with eggs open larva and capped brood from another hive. I am done with this hive I will check them again at the end of summer to makes sure they have brood and stores and if not I will shake them out and enjoy any honey I find lol
 
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