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I have a Carniolan colony that was split once earlier this year having wintered over very well. It consists of three medium hive bodies and currently has two honey supers on it. When I did my spring inspection, the hive was wall to wall bees and I split as soon as the dandelions popped. No matter what I did, the queen filled the top box with brood. She only knew "up". When I saw the boxes getting backfilled with honey, I added my first super. She immediately filled a couple of frames with brood. I found the queen, put her down below, swapped out some frames and added an exluder....something I rarely do.

For a while all was well. The super got completely filled and I added another super with just foundation. I bottom supered. In other words, I put the new super with foundation on top of the excluder and placed the full, heavy super on the very top. The hive is finished with a ventilation inner cover and a standard top cover. I've left this hive alone for a while. We have a heat wave here in MA. so I figured I wouldn't see too much going on in the super with foundation.

Tonight, I went out in the sprinkling rain and took a peek. To my surprise, ALL the foundation is pulled. There are four frames of capped honey and the center frames are filled with brood. Beautiful pattern. Almost wall to wall. Nicely capped. So, I went below the excluder. There was about 8 frames of capped honey and spotty brood here and there. So, I either have two queens or the queen excluder failed. I'll bet on the latter although I really want to find that queen. It starting raining pretty good so I buttoned things up and headed in. This weekend I'll consolidate brood and honey...try to find the queen(s) and see where that leaves me.


Any sage advice from the community?
 

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Could you use some of that stinky honey robber stuff to push all the bees down and then put a fresh excluder on when you've consolidated the brood? It might be faster than trying to go frame by frame looking for the queen. Adrian.
 

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I was thinking of just waiting until this weekend and then shaking / brushing the bees off the frames....re-excluding them and then sitting back to watch what happens. I don't see eggs well so I'm always kinda behind the curve when something like this happens.
 

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Have you tried a different excluder? Maybe there's a wide spot in there somewhere and she knows where to find it.
Completely agree with him, the wire may be bent in one spot if it is a metal excluder. :(If you don't have a new excluder, consider leaving that full first super directly over the excluder and then add the empty one on top. The queen will not cross a barrier of honey.:D
 

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Interesting, I have never heard that. I will store that in my memory banks. Still, are you running a double? If so, (and if you can find the queen) put her in the bottom box. With all that laying space she should stick around down there.
 

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We have had this happen a number of times over the years.
Seems any little flaw, bent wire, broken weld, ect she will find it & move up!
Also have seen at times young small queens will do the same, as they can " slip " thru the excluder & move into the honey supers making a mess.
 

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I'm wondering if it is a new queen. I'll find her, move her down and see where it brings me. At this point, I'll probably just yank the excluder. Never really liked them anyway but thought it would make life easier this time. Bees will be bees!
 

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We have reason to believe, but no proof, that at times the queen goes for a walk outside the hive, and re-enters via an upper entrance. The timing seems to not coincide with our visits, where we do on occasion put her "upstairs" by accident.

Roland
 

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Do you have an upper entrance? The bees may have superceded the old queen, and she went on mating flights and came back through the upper entrance.

The super right over an excluder will often have empty frames in the middle, like the bees are keeping those frames ready for the queen to move up and start laying. If a wire was bent, maybe the queen did just that.
 
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