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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I was inspecting my hive that I started up from a nucleus last year and I've noticed that the worker bees were "balling" the queen - one of the bees had literally gripped to one of the legs of the queen
I will check once again next week to see if it survived
I have no idea what triggered this!?
 

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Colonies will kill a queen that is sick, old, or poorly mated so that they can raise a new one to replace her. Its called requeening.

So its possible that your old queen was failing and they just decided it was time for a new one.
 

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Queens also get attacked when the hive is disturbed. If I observe such behavior I rescue the queen and heavily smoke the bees or If I have it spray them all with vanilla scented syrup so they all smell alike.
 

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Queens also get badgered and nipped at, as well as chased when the workers are getting her ready to swarm. It gets her 'in-shape' to fly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
last week, I moved the last 2 frames that were still not drawn to the middle, hoping that they would draw it - however today, 1 week after i noticed that they didnt work on it and thus i had removed these 2 frames and placed them once again in the edge - could it be that this was what triggered the balling? cos the empty frames (with foundation) had divided the colony into 2?
 

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Disturbing them might have triggered it. I opened a new nuc last year to see if the queen had mated yet, found her getting balled, I rescued her and figured she may have flown back to the wrong nuc as I had 3-4 new queens getting mated. Before I could cage her, she flew right back to the same nuc and marched right into the entrance, just to get balled again. I rescued her a 2nd time and finally got her caged. I left her out of the nuc while I inspected it and then stuck the cage between the middle frames and closed it up. I released her the next day without issue as the bees seemed to recognize her as their queen again. The next week I checked her, her wings were all ragged and torn up at the ends but she was laying a good pattern. The week after that, her wings were yet again a little shorter and ragged but nonethless she was laying away and is probably the strongest nuc in the yard this year and she's going strong.
 
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