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So I inspected one of my hives yesterday. The hive had already swarmed and had a virgin queen running around. I had left 2 capped swarm cells in the hive by the time I found her. So I am hopeful she will kill them rather than letting them swarm away. I know it was a Virgin queen because there were no eggs, there was an unzipped queen cell, and she was small and looked flighty. But in general how can you tell the difference between a Virgin queen and a queen about to swarm. I know that the bees don't feed a queen about to swarm or at least run her around so I am thinking that she would be skinny when it is time to fly. When does she quit laying eggs? Or can she lay right up to the time she swarms?
 

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The old queen lays fewer and fewer eggs until swarming and often lays a few the day she swarms. If she is running really fast and bees look like they are attacking her, she is a virgin. If she is being pushed and shaken and looks like she is tired of it, she is the old queen.
 
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