As the title states i seen something today that has me puzzled. We were working our 10 hives to make splits up for the new Russian queens we just got. Our normal procedure is to find the queen, then make the split so that we know she's not going into a hive we don't want her in. So this particular hive, we go frame by frame trying to find the queen. All along looking at brood patterns, etc. We finally get to the last frame, knowing for sure she was on it, and she wasn't. Then we notice down in the bottom of the hive on the board there is a ball of bees about the size of a golf ball. All buzzin and wallowing around. So my wife says lets see what that is. I thought for a moment it was just some fallen wax with honey as we'd been cleaning as we went. She picks it up to find the queen in the middle of the ball. They weren't trying to bite the queen or anything like that, it was that they just balled her.
What i'd like to find out from someone with more experience than I is if that is a normal thing. We did notice her brood pattern wasn't the best thing in the world and she layed eggs in places that didn't make sense when there were full frames empty and ready for her. Did they do it as she's not the greatest layer, or is it just a protection thing?
Judging from what we witnessed in other 9 hives it's not a normal thing to find her on the bottom board.