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Hi Guys,

Sadly my hive seems to have lost it's queen possibly through a robbing situation that has been going on for the last few days, there are a couple of capped queen cells so I intend to let them raise another. My question is whether I should leave my robber screen on or not. I'm concerned that if the queen hatches and tries to leave for her mating flight she may struggle to get back in? Or as she will only have ever known the new entrance location will she be unaffected by it?

Thanks for reading
 

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I have not been in your situation but I would not think the new queen would have any problem getting through the standard robber screen entrance.....
 

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I have had no problem with virgin queens leaving and getting back in through a robbing screen put in place ahead of time. The key word there is leaving. I would hesitate to add one when it was possible she was already out, however.

My experience on this is only a few times, but I recall a quite recent post by someone who was using robbing screens on their mating nucs and was reporting success in a much larger operation. IIRC, it was David Ferney? A search should turn it up.

Enj.
 

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In most cases queens take a short flight prior to going on a mating flight. quite often she will be accompanied by several attendants from the hive this helps the queen become oriented to the hive.
I have known people who's virgin queen took a short practice flight, Followed by several hundred members. The queen took a rest on a nearby fence or limb, so the did the attendants. The beekeeper thinking they were a swarm collected them and hived them leaving the original hive queenless. A recombine solved the problem.

The point here is if a queen does not make it back, it is not because she was lost. Attendants will circle the hive seeking her individual fragrance, and fan the landing board to get the hive scent out to her.
 
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