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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.
 

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Im sure they knew what they were doing, balling kills, they overheat her as well as bite. Had a Russian queen that started laying like that her 2nd year, and I pinched her little head off so they could make a new one.
 

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A lot of times new queens will get balled while doing inspections or after marking. I don't think their pheromones are quite as strong as they are after they have been laying a while. What you found was probably a newly mated queen that hasn't quite got up to speed. Most of the time you can save them if you put them into a queen cage for a few days until the bees calm back down.
 

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A lot of times new queens will get balled while doing inspections or after marking. I don't think their pheromones are quite as strong as they are after they have been laying a while. What you found was probably a newly mated queen that hasn't quite got up to speed. Most of the time you can save them if you put them into a queen cage for a few days until the bees calm back down.
It sort of makes sense but this partiuclar hive is 6 weeks old. Hived from 3# package on 4-6-14. I've inspected the hive before and never seen this before. However I never seen the queen till now in that hive either, just made sure i seen eggs. Before she had a great pattern but now it's like hit and miss everywhere. I'm thinking seriously about doing a requeen on this hive.
 

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Come to think about it, I did find a few queen cups, but no actual cells. I didn't pay any mind to it as i've found them in several hives that have very productive queens in them. Maybe they are trying to tell me something here. lol.. I've got a good queen in the works right now so as soon as she's up to snuff i'll let her take over the hive.
 
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