Dropped the queen in the grass


I thought I'd check my nuc today, it's doing really well - well on the way to drawing out all the foundation in the brood box. I spotted the queen and thought I'd mark her - I got her in the queen holder - but as I opened it - she flew (sort of) out - straight into the long grass.

My heart was pounding for quite a few seconds, I found her, but she flew again, deeper down into the grass. I finally managed to scoop her back up, mark her, and pop her into the hive.

I was completely drenched with sweat by the end of it. The grass is so long I was luck to find her at all.

Lady luck must have been smiling on me.


Beth Kirkley:
Good job. I'm still lacking the ability to find my queens. I know what she looks like, but whenever I look, I just can't find her. John has given me lots of tips - but maybe she just keeps moving around as I look.
I'm always amazed that anyone can actually FIND her. Think of that - finding one bee out of 30-60 thousand is pretty good. :)


I've learnt now, use minimal smoke, a non at all, and stand further back to look at the frames. Don't look for individual bees, just the general movement. Her tail makes a sort of swooshing movement as she walks. It's quite distinctive once you see it, and the long pointed tail.

Once you find her, even if you don't mark her, it's worth watching her for a while, just to learn how she walks, where she goes on the frame, and how the other bees act around her.


I think I shared this before...

I was letting a virgin queen fly from my back porch observation hive to mate and I watched as the whole process went off without a hitch. She was flying home and straggering a little in her flight and she got off track and landed in fly-tape (that stuff that comes in a little 35mm film canaster and pulls out about 4ft long and super sticky) it was a horror story.

There was nothing I could do, the poor thing was struggling to escape and just got stuck tighter and tighter - I final did the humane thing and squooshed her.

So congratulations on the fine hunt and successful recovery of the queen - I've dropped them in the grass before too and had less successs, so I just let them find their own way home to try and grab on another day.

The only problem with that now though is that we have these BEE-EATER BIRDS in the yard who do not mess with the hives, just the dying workers who walk away from the hive at the end of their lives. If we had those birds today, I assume the bird would have had a royal lunch!


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