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I am in the process of trapping out a hive that is in a tree. I have had a deep hive body on it for about 10 days and have been removing bees every couple of days. I initially removed a lot of bees priot to setting the trap up by using my bee vacuum so the colony is now weak and I am not getting a lot of bees in my last couple of visits. I plan on removing the trap tomorrow and sealing the hole.

I went today to remove and replace a frame of open comb. There has been a ton of drone coming from this hive and I thought it may have had laying workers. As I was walking this drone covered frame to my truck I spotted a queen. She was smallish and was wondering around the comb the same way unmated or non laying mated queens do. In my experience there is a striking difference in the way a mated and unmated queen walks around the comb. Unmated queens always seem skittish and much more nervous than mated queens. Their size is usually a give away as well. Sure enough as I approached my truck the queen flew off.

I checked the frame of open brood that I placed in the trap and didn't see the queen. I suspect she will fly back but if not it isn't a huge loss in my book.

What do others think about a queen returning after flying off a frame? I've had it happen in my own bee yard and I've had some return and others not??

Thanks
 

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Quick question about your setup.... Is your box attached to the tree, with the funnel coming directly into it? I am trapping bees out of a tree in this fashion, and would love to get the queen.
 

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My experience with queens flying away and returning is that you have a 50-50 chance of her returning. If she was seriously frightened, not just uneasy and "spooked," she probably will not return.
 
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