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Discussion Starter #1
I just moved a hive from one side of my yard to a new stand on the other side. The boxes twisted and I lost maybe two cupfuls of bees. They were gathering on the old stand, so I put an empty box there. What worries me most is a fist sized cluster was making a ladder to get in the top of the hive. Would they do that if there wasn't a queen in there? The original hive had only a top entrance. The new one had only a bottom,but I tipped the lid up. I plan to get this bees back to the original hive, but I'm hoping the queen is still in the original.

The ladder was really neat to see. Wish I'd have thought to get a picture.
 

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Not to state the obvious but the only way to know for sure is to open it up and have a look. I moved bees this last weekend on my flatbed and had a upper box slip off and fall in the middle of an intersection. Maybe the queen was down below in the empty box when it happened. Anyway I checked it the next day and was amazed to find the queen in that box. I tell you this story so you'll have a better hope on the outcome until you have a chance to see for yourself.
 

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a point to remember is the queen is most generally between frames. She evades light rather than heading for it. Most likely a small group of bees that come from a split hive would not include the queen particularly in questionable weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. Just a little worried. It was getting dark and I didn't want to disturb them with a light. They hadn't made it back into the hive yet. Why would they need a ladder?
 

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We had a queen drop out of a hive last September. I spotted her in a small clump of bees on the hive stand, in a box we use for holding frames during inspections. It is doubtful she would have found her way back.

We pulled out our queen-catching clip and went for her. She immediately played dead. However, we placed her barely-moving carcass on the landing board and the bees started attending her. By morning she was gone. A week later we found her running around in the hive, apparently unharmed.

But the act did her in. We'd already decided to pinch her and combine the hive with another. Her colony was not doing well.

This must be a traumatic experience for the queen, but it apparently can be survived.
 

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They build the bridge because they are all confused. Nobody signal
them after the trauma of where the queen is at. So everybody is so
bee confused. The last resort is for them to cluster up to seek some
comfort. And that's when we see the bridge. They will eventually find
their queen if she is in there to get back to a normal bee life again.
 
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