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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was inspecting a swarm capture that I hived a week ago and tried to mark the queen. Lets just say that things went sideways and the queen escaped unmarked and flew off. Will she return to the hive and should I be concerned?
 

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A better than 50% chance she will turn up back in the hive. Suggest checking in a week, don't need to search her out, just look for eggs, and if none, queen cells.

One thing to watch if you have a screened bottom board, stray and dropped queens can attempt to get back in via the screen, and get trapped there until they die. Check under there maybe tonight or tomorrow. She could be there alone, or she could have attracted a small cluster of bees.
 

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Oh another thought, you did not mention if she is a laying queen or a virgin. That could change my answers above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She has laid out about a frame and a half of eggs and the other bees are drawing out frames rapidly.
 

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I had this happen 3 times while learning how to handle queens for marking. I was always way too gentle and timid and at the first sign of struggle they would fly off. I never had any return, but heard it does happen. I also have a lot of hives in rows, which likely lessens the success of a return.

Do as stated. Give them a week and check. If you have cells then they are making a queen. If not, and you have fresh eggs, then consider yourself very lucky.
 

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OK well just got to wait a while then check.

Many beekeepers drop queens outside the hive, the queen finds her way back in, and the beekeeper is never aware it even happened.

It is one of my arguments against screened bottom boards, it makes it harder for the bees to put right themselves, that beekeeper mistake.

And oh, just seen Mtnmyke's post, he is right. If hives are close together, the queen will walk into the first hive she can find, and if it's the wrong one will immediately get balled, I have seen that happen also.
 

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Did the same thing a week ago. Boxed up a swarm at my brother's and they were reluctant to go in. Had the box on a piece of tin and sure enough when I moved it back, there she was. I marked her and she took to the air. He watched the hive and I watched the swarm. In 2-3 minutes she landed and marched right in. I'm glad yours worked out.
 

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Queens from swarms seem to be especially flighty! I've learned to let her lay for a couple weeks before marking her. Your queen spotting abilities are obviously rather good so there really isn't a hurry in blobbing paint on them.

I really only mark so I know if it's the original queen in a colony. I also don't mark by year, but by line of bee in my yard. Pink is one of the easiest colors to spot, surprisingly.
 

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I have a question, if the bees in the hive are at least 20 days old (when they swarmed), and the queen takes a good 30 days to start laying, and another 20 days for brood to emerge. It would be fine if there were many frames of brood, but without, how will they survive? Should Timedlem take a frame of brood from another hive every once in a while and put it in that one?
 

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I have a question, if the bees in the hive are at least 20 days old (when they swarmed), and the queen takes a good 30 days to start laying, and another 20 days for brood to emerge. It would be fine if there were many frames of brood, but without, how will they survive? Should Timedlem take a frame of brood from another hive every once in a while and put it in that one?
Yup, this is why I always add a couple frames of brood to swarms. This catapults them toward growth vs the usual population drop swarms/packages experience while getting their first round of brood out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
unfortunately I split my other hive and both sides of the split are puttering along and I can't expect help from them
 

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Pushing them hard and thin! May want to see if you can't find a local queen available. I always keep some in some backup resource hives for instances just as this.

I think any beekeeper with a few hives should keep a strong resource nuc in standby as well. They're highly underrated.
 

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Pushing them hard and thin! May want to see if you can't find a local queen available. I always keep some in some backup resource hives for instances just as this.

I think any beekeeper with a few hives should keep a strong resource nuc in standby as well. They're highly underrated.
I agree. Many people may not be able to keep any more than one or vet few hives, but might be able to add a nuc or two. This opens up so many options for situations like this or countless other desperate situations that can develop.

Think of a spare nuc as a box of spare parts. I wish I had learned that years ago.
 

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I never really got the "bug" to mark queens.
fine if you wish, but realize at time you will create an issue.

GG
 

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What issue?
maybe pinch her
maybe drop her in the grass, maybe bees will not like her.
she flys off
etc

Many threads here that start with , I marked my queen then XYZ happened.
Many/most of the time if the box was not opened the issue would not have happened.

I basically am not good enough to risk my queens AND the value to me is also not worth the risk.
Sure I could mark a 100 drones and then get good at it, but I have a few lids and bottoms to build , then move NUCs into bigger hives , then Super... I am A 1 man show and marking queens I did not do or hear of for the first 20 years so I have learned to live with out it.

GG
 

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Operator error is with us always, the first group of 32 that I clipped and marked, I killed 50% of them. The second group of 32 I only killed 25%, and after those I can't remember having killed any due to my being ham fisted.

Marking is an aid to those of us that are experiencing failing vision, not so much with the light colored queens, but the dark races can sometimes be tricky to find. The clipping of a wing is of more value to me than marking as it buys me some time during the swarming period.
 
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