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I couldn’t find her after I put the frame I was holding down. Don’t know what will happen to her. Feel totally heartbroken.

Hoping she makes it back into the hive somehow, or that she was already back in there and I didn’t see it happen.
 

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I would guess she is back home....
Is this something that we might normally expect if this were to occur? In-other-words, would that pretty much be the case as long as the queen is uninjured?


Thanks,
b1rd
 

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When I first started, went to inspect a hive, lifted off the top cover, then the inner cover. Gosh, Wonder why all those bees are clustered on the inner cover?? Whoops! the inner cover slipped out of my hand, I used those goat skin gloves then, never again. Oh CRAP, as I see my queen, with the nice bright green dot on her back as the inner cover was slipping out of my hand. Closed everything up, came back next day, and, WHEW, she was back in the hive, and okay. It happens........... She's probably okay.
 

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Don’t sweat it too much biscuits. We have probably all done it, or will do it at some point. It’s happened several times to me. The only time she didn’t come back was when it was a virgin queen. Those virgin queens are very skittish though.

I bet she’s crawling around the hive as we speak. I would let the hives settle down and go back in and take a look.

If the same thing ever happens again, which it probably will, the best thing to do is just stay right where are you are at for several minutes. If she used you to orient herself, she very well could use you to get back to the hive.

Ryan
 

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Similar snafu.... carefully buttoned things up and came back an hour later. There was a cluster of bees hanging under the hive.... rest of the bees had “found” her for me.
 

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Hasn't happened to me yet, but as Ryan, as well as some uh, em, older, experienced people say, stand perfectly still if she flies off because she may have oriented you to the hive and there is a good chance she will fly right back. J
 

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Some people claim they can tell by listening to the hive if its queenless or queen right by how the roaring of the bees sounds, and if its loud or soft.

I personally can't tell the difference.

But what does the sound of the hive sound like? Do they sound calm or stressed out?
 

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had a young one(just started to lay, no larva yet) get loose after I marked her and she took off, stood real still for about 2 min and I could hear here coming back, much releife to see that green dot land on the entrance
 

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Is this something that we might normally expect if this were to occur? In-other-words, would that pretty much be the case as long as the queen is uninjured?
Thanks,
b1rd
We install and handle around 800 queens a year between splits, nucs and and 2 queen units. I handle all queens in my clumsy grabby old man hands and drop a fair amount and some fall off frames during manipulations. We find most times, 80% or so, the queen finds her way back into the hive when we can't find her. She can orient by pheromones and sight recognition if she wasn't mated in a particular hive, nuc etc. We always wait until day 5 after she goes MIA and check the hives for eggs as any eggs laid before she goes missing will be hatched and if we find eggs we know she is in there. We find a lot of queens by sight because we are in hives every day but we don't hesitate to walk away from any hive with eggs upon the follow up inspection after a queen vanishes. If we find a hive is queenless we requeen it, destroying any emergency cells which may have been started.
 

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Joel, thanks for the very informative reply, and that's what I was hoping to hear. And I am somewhat familiar with what to look for even if you can't actually find the queen, but it's nice knowing the odds are on my side should she find herself on the ground.

Regards,
b1rd

I'd like to pick at your bee brain with a follow up question if you have a moment.

...destroying any emergency cells which may have been started.
I am learning how to identify the queen cells, but do "emergency cells" differ in location and you destroy those only, or do you destroy all of the queen cells except for a couple? I'm talking in general bee keeping to prevent them from swarming.

I'm still trying to understand how many, if any, queen cells should be present during a hive inspection. I thought that the bees keep a couple in case something happens to the queen, and if that's the case how can I tell if they are normal queen cells or pre-swarm cells?

Thanks.
 

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I was transferring a nuc to a bigger box the other day, I had the queen safe on a frame, put her in, then set the nuc box on top to smoke the bees out of it, Then I put the box in front and banged it out. I spotted the Queen on the ground, she must have climbed up in the nuc box. I picked her up by wings and threw her on the landing board, freaked me out:lookout: I think she went in, was the first time handling a queen, it was a $50 Saskatraz.

an emergency cell is on the face of the comb, where they start drawing out a worker cell.
 
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