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After inspecting the top deep today and moving it aside, I found the queen hiding in the lower deep with a few attendants. The lower deep is completely empty; no food, no brood. She seemed confused that she could not get back up into the top deep to where all the other bees were. In fact, I watched her walk across the top of the frames to the edge of the hive, slip, and fall to the ground. I couldn't believe that the queen would just drop out of the hive like this.

I let her crawl onto my hand and gently placed her in the top deep. She went inside and stayed. Anyone else experience something similar? Out of curiosity, had I not been paying attention, would she have eventually flown back to the entrance of the hive and gone back inside?

Thanks,

Josh
 

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You may have an about to fail queen if there isn't any eggs in the top deep.
You see any eggs in the bottom deep too? Watch out for laying workers if this
hive has a non laying queen. Monitor for a few days and prepare to put in a
frame of eggs/larvae to see if they will make some qcs or not. No, this is not typical
for a queen to behave this way. A prolific queen usually will stay with the cluster where
there are plenty of nurse bees to feed her and seldom venture out or below the deep.
Something is wrong here.
 

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Next time you do a inspection, use very little smoke and she how she acts. If she's a runner and got panicky from the smoke, she might've fell and had her bell rung. When they're heavy with eggs it's pretty easy for em to fall off the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone. I'll assume a combination of smoke + possibly a jolt of the frame when lifting could have caused her to drop into the lower deep. I'll be more careful in the future.
 

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After inspecting the top deep today and moving it aside, I found the queen hiding in the lower deep with a few attendants. The lower deep is completely empty; no food, no brood. She seemed confused that she could not get back up into the top deep to where all the other bees were. In fact, I watched her walk across the top of the frames to the edge of the hive, slip, and fall to the ground. I couldn't believe that the queen would just drop out of the hive like this.

I let her crawl onto my hand and gently placed her in the top deep. She went inside and stayed. Anyone else experience something similar? Out of curiosity, had I not been paying attention, would she have eventually flown back to the entrance of the hive and gone back inside?

Thanks,

Josh
I would say she is old or somehow not wanted by the bees. Normally a queen will not be walking around outside broodnest. Are you sure her legs were not injured? There might be a new queen coming in the top box.
 

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JL is right she is being outcasted if you have no eggs or larva! Does she have a beaver tail or has she gotten slender? If she is slender she could be done? I have had this happen and the hive superceeded.
 

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if the top is full and she was in the bottom she is being normal and looking for clean cells to lay in but all the workers are up top, it is time to reverse the hive bodies put the empty bottom on top and things will be fine there is nothing wrong with your queen
 

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if the top is full and she was in the bottom she is being normal and looking for clean cells to lay in but all the workers are up top, it is time to reverse the hive bodies put the empty bottom on top and things will be fine there is nothing wrong with your queen
Usually the cell cleaners and pollen storers move in quite numbers down first, and the queen comes after them, jhaislip said there were only some attendants in the bottom box. Plus "she seemed confused", something is wrong.
 
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