Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Major screwup tonight. In my yard working bees. Had a hive preparing to swarm 1 cell was capped but it was connected to the frame below it as well and it ripped in half when I separated the boxes. Found queen on a frame and set her frame aside in a nuc box to make a split. The frame she was on had a lot of open nectar. Guy pulls in and starts talking to me about wanting to buy a nuc from me as soon as they're ready. We exchange information and he leaves. By the time I go back to the nuc the queen was in (lid wasn't put on, still the single frame with bees/ queen on it) the bees were acting a little frantic running around no fighting but not acting right. I start looking- the queen is gone! I looked in the rest of the box, in the grass, all around she's just gone. I put the frame back in the main hive and closed it back up as it started pouring rain. This queen was mated in a different yard so I doubt she knows which hive was hers to go back into.

I plan on trying to get back in it tomorrow to see if she happened to make it back. If she didn't what's my next course of action? Since no bees swarmed will they do it when the first virgin hatches? They have a beautiful cell that should be capped in a day or 2 at the most. I got rid of most of the other cells to hopefully prevent after swarms. What's the odds that the new queen will hatch and then mate and the bees forget about wanting to swarm? They have a super on now but still plenty of room to fill it before they really need another one.

I'm not sure what happened but I think maybe other bees came to steal the nectar on the frame and ended up balling her. I never seen them do it, nor could I find her, but I'm not sure what else could have happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,649 Posts
Yup, most definitely a bad hair day, she probably got nervous because she was out in the light so long. When queens fly they’ll orientate as they take off. Hopefully she circled, got a whiff of home and got back in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,086 Posts
Interesting situation. I don't have enough experience to offer solid advice but hive do swarm sometimes with a virgin queen. Whether they do in this situation being is a good question. I wonder if you put the QC with some frames of brood/food above a snelgrove board if that would further deter them from swarming. Just thinking out loud. Whenever I don't know something, I let them figure it out. Hopefully someone has some good ideas for you. Keep us posted as to what happens. J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,276 Posts
I have had queens fly off and they have always shown up at the next inspection. I am sure there are other beekeepers that have had the queen not come back. I would not worry about it too much. If she is gone for good, the bees will create new queen cells and replace her. As far as swarming goes, with her gone, they may decide to stay. If she returns, who knows what they will do. Inspect in a day or two and if she has returned and swarming is imminent, split the hive and enjoy the extra hive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,231 Posts
I have had queens fly off and they have always shown up at the next inspection.
Not to be a downer, but unfortunately they do not always show back up. A similar thing happened to me this spring when I lost a queen out of my quiet box. I didn't get it properly secured. Queen was gone and never found. To make matters worse, her colony failed to replace her (they made cells but never got the mated queen back). Costly mistake for sure!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Not to be a downer, but unfortunately they do not always show back up. A similar thing happened to me this spring when I lost a queen out of my quiet box. I didn't get it properly secured. Queen was gone and never found. To make matters worse, her colony failed to replace her (they made cells but never got the mated queen back). Costly mistake for sure!!!
Sometimes they do come back. My queen flew away twice when I tried to mark her. Came back both times. Learn my lesson to use a cage when marking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,231 Posts
Sometimes they do come back. My queen flew away twice when I tried to mark her. Came back both times. Learn my lesson to use a cage when marking.
Yes, they do sometimes come back, particularly if she decides to go airborne off a frame in the immediate vicinity of her colony. My comment was aimed at the "they have always shown up" comment, only to point out that pretty much anything can happen when a queen is removed from a colony.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top