I usually start with the top box...2nd frame in, then put it aside, then check the outside frame, the 3rd frame and work my way across. I look on the far side of the frame 1st then the closer side, then the edges, then again and again. Then I take off the top box nod usually sit it on the lid and drape paper over the top. Then I start on the next box.What's your procedure when looking for her? Look through the top box, then the next, and the next, working from top to bottom?
Yes..I read and re read line by line visualizer where the boxes were and where the excluder were. I then visualize a bunch of bees sitting on the bottom board of the last empty box (hopefully I closed the entrance or they could all run out!) that need to shake into a box with an excluder on the bottom.This procedure is for after you fail and you feel you have to find the queen. Causes major disruption to you and the bees so do not do lightly! The answer is it is not easy and the most experienced beek sometimes can't find a runny hiding queen. If you really really need to find her, set down a bottom board with an empty box and take a frame of brood and AFTER you can't find the queen carefully brush or wiggle shake the bees off the frame and after making sure she is absolutely not one of the seven bees left on that frame, put the frame of brood in the empty box. Continue checking and clearing brood frames and placing them in the empty. When you have a box full of bee less brood and frames and in original order, place a queen excluder over it and set the now empty brood box on top of the excluder and continue looking for the queen as you wiggle shake and brush frames into the empty over the excluder.
set the bee less frames in another box and get all the bees in that empty box or flying. Many will settle on the other brood box full of beefless frames. Now carefully look at the box and bottom board you just emptied and shake those bees into the box over the excluder. Most of the bees will have gone down to the brood in the excluded box and gently with verified cool smoke encourage the remaining bees to go down. At some point probably running like a demon you will see your queen. Do with her what you intended and put things back together.
When I am forced to this dog and pony show, I am usually looking for her to split off from the main hive with two frames of wet brood and lots of extra bees. So if that is your intention have a couple frames set to the very outside of one of the excluded boxes for fast reference. Then I notch some frames in the queenless original colony and set the queen and her nuc in a double screened two or threeway divided box that I set back on a strong colony to be heated by the folks downstairs. If it is still cool, I wrap the whole congregation until it warms up.
The length of that reply should have scared you into getting better at finding queens! Like most skills it takes time to learn and as I said, some queens do a wonderful job of hiding and running.
Thanks...that at least narrows it to 10 frames...unless the supers are the calm stack. I presume one doesn't use smoke when looking for the Queen.It can be daunting with a big hive.
1. I run deeps and split the hive into three stacks - one brood, second brood, and a stack of honey supers. Place them on a solid piece of plywood with a complete rim. Queens will move downward as you remove frames to inspect.
2. Wait for ?ten minutes and observe the bees. Two stacks will be fanning and the third is content. The super with the content bees will contain the queen.
3. Queen will generally be on a frame containing eggs and some empty cells.
4. Then use cover cloths to keep sides of frame dark other than frame you are removing. This keeps queen from moving about.
5. Do a visual scan of one side, then bottom of frame and then other side. Hold frame about 18 inches away from your face so you can scan. Look for the circle of nurse bees attending to bigger queen.
My question was certainly loaded. I wanted you to say exactly what you said. What you're doing is the worst way to find a queen. The disturbance you cause by removing frames and smoking causes the bees…and queen…to run down to get away from you. By the time you get down into the broodnest there are so many bees that you can't find the queen…and she is running from you just to make it more difficult.I usually start with the top box...2nd frame in, then put it aside, then check the outside frame, the 3rd frame and work my way across. I look on the far side of the frame 1st then the closer side, then the edges, then again and again. Then I take off the top box nod usually sit it on the lid and drape paper over the top. Then I start on the next box.
Probably narrowing it down to 6 frames, as generally outside two are honey and pollen. I don't use a lot of smoke, if at all.Thanks...that at least narrows it to 10 frames...unless the supers are the calm stack. I presume one doesn't use smoke when looking for the Queen.
Thank you. I didn't use smoke in the hive...just had the smoker sitting on top of the adjacent hive so the air had the scent of smoke.My question was certainly loaded. I wanted you to say exactly what you said. What you're doing is the worst way to find a queen. The disturbance you cause by removing frames and smoking causes the bees…and queen…to run down to get away from you. By the time you get down into the broodnest there are so many bees that you can't find the queen…and she is running from you just to make it more difficult.
Before you open the hive, ask yourself…which box do you think she's in. If there are honey supers on the hive, is it likely she's up there? Usually not. Depending on the time of year, is she likely in the top brood box or bottom brood box…assuming you have two.
Take off the honey supers, stacking them on an upturned cover. Cover them with an inner cover or cloth. Take off the top brood box and place on another cover. Don't use much smoke…it just causes the bees and queen to run. Now decide which brood box to search first. Say first…
Pull each comb and search for queen. No smoke…you want the queen to remain on the comb she's laying on…quietly. As you look over each comb, place it to one side…either standing on end against the box, or in another empty body. If you don't find her, search the bottom box again placing the combs to one side. Check bottom board and side walls of bottom box. Still can't find her?
Place a shaker box…hive body with wood bound excluder nailed on bottom. 2" of duct tape on inside of shaker box along top edge. Place on now empty bottom brood box. Leave a 4" space at side wall. Take last frame removed from bottom box, shake all the bees into shaker box, and place frame into space pushing it under excluder. Repeat with each frame from bottom box until all the frames are back into bottom box. Slide shaker box back over bottom brood box. If the bees want to boil over shaker box edge, brush them back down. Use a little smoke along the too edge to get the bees moving down. They'll go through the excluder to get back into the hive. If the queen is there she'll be running along the excluder at the sidewall. If not there, shake the bees from the second brood box into the shaker box and run them through the excluder. If she's not there, repeat with the supers.
Go slowly. Don't allow the bees to boil over the sides of the shaker box. You will find the queen.