Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newbee here. Installed two packages 8 days ago, performed first inspections on both hives today, and generally it went great: both queens were released, I spotted eggs at the bottom of cells in both hives (and what I believed were open brood in some), and both hives had been hard at work drawing comb and had some stores of pollen and sugar water from the feeders. So yay, off to a great start.

Enter the bumbling beekeper.

I noticed, as I was putting the hive top feeder back on one of the hives, that a bee that looked an awful lot like every representation I've ever seen of a queen was floating, on her back, struggling in the sugar syrup. So I reached in with my hive tool and helped her out, when she promptly fell off into the ivy that surrounds the hives. I got a better look at her on the ground, and am 95% sure that it was the queen (no my queen wasn't marked, not sure if clipped). She kept making short little flights around the outside of the hive, on the ground, but never made a move to go back in. I kept trying to pick her up and put her on the doorstep, but she flew to the other side of the hive into the ivy and I lost her for good.

So anyway, I see two outcomes here: either she gets back in uninjured and all is right with the world, or she doesn't and the bees raise a new queen from an egg. A third possibility is I order a queen and get her in there, to avoid having to wait for a new queen to hatch. Two questions for you all: 1) what're the odds she makes it back in?, and 2) what would you do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
i would wait a couple days and see if I could locate her in the hive. or Find new eggs then go from there. usually if they fall in the syrup they cant fly, but you said she was flying so she could make it back. My first question is what kind of feeder are you using that the queen wound up floating in it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,738 Posts
I'd say the chances she'll come back into her hive is better than 50%.

I would wait and inspect in four days. Look for eggs, if seen, she's back in. If queen cells, she's gone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,404 Posts
I'll add my novice advice. With 2 new packages, I doubt you have enough drones to mate with a newly hatched queen if the bees do raise their own. I know you will have some drones in the packages of bees, but it won't be many.

If you see queen cells being made in 3 days, I'd order a new, mated, marked queen. If you can get the new queen before the queen cells hatch, I would remove the queen cells and install the new queen 24 hours later.

In the meantime, feed sugar water religiously so the bees will draw as much comb as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,400 Posts
Iivydrift. You can figure it was a hive top feeder which the poster set aside to do the inspection!

You have a equal chance that the queen will make it back. in 3 days all the eggs within the hive will hatch, inspect the hive in 4 days, it you see eggs then it is a safe bet she made it home. If not I would just order a new queen. your new colony will take too much of a hit waiting to grow a new queen. why loose a months growth?
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,120 Posts
If you are trying to get a queen to return, the first thing to do is stand still. She will orient on you and probably find her way back. The second thing to do is encourage the bees to guide her back with Nasonov pheromone. To do this, take a frame out that is covered in bees and shake them back into the hive. This will cause them to start fanning Nasonov. Third, if you don’t see the queen fly back in (be watching and you may) then wait ten minutes with the cover of the hive off so she can smell the Nasonov. If you do these three things the odds are very good she will find her way back.

If you didn’t do those things, there is probably a little better than 50/50 chance she will find her way back anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
My first year beekeeping, I had a queen fall off (actually drip off in a ball of bees) from a frame outside the hive during an inspection. As I awkwardly scooped her off the ground, not easy with the thick cowhide gloves I used the first year, she fluttered over the back fence. I thought it might have been a drone flying out of the uncovered hive as I dropped her back in, but decided it was she after all. She did end up in the hive, one way or another. Unfortunately, she was never quite the same. I must have injured her. I saw her on subsequent inspections, but was never a good layer afterwards, and found her on the ground in front of the hive a couple of weeks later. A local old timer said he had bees kick out queens rather than ball them at times in years past. Hope your queen comes back :)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top