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Author Topic: Nearly lost my queen!  (Read 329 times)

Offline LizzieBee

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Nearly lost my queen!
« on: August 13, 2018, 02:37:41 pm »
About two days ago when I did a hive inspection, I didn?t see the queen inside, which I usually do. I have two cement blocks on either side of the hive which hold up two pieces of wood which the hive rests on. I always put my super on the ground on the inner cover and the second brood box on two of the cement blocks. Well after I had put the hive back together, I noticed a cluster of bees on the cement. I was expecting to see a drop of honey or something they were eating but it was the queen! I assume they were guarding her. I grabbed my queen cage from the package I bought, and after many failed attempts, I got the queen in. Then I removed the super and queen excluder. I opened the cap off the cage and she wouldn?t come out. A worker bee actually went in and nudged her out. She seemed fine and lively.

Could I have just put her in front of the entrance on the landing board? I wanted to be sure she made it back onto a frame, that?s why I opened the hive again. I hope that doesn?t happen again, but at least I noticed!

Lizzie

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Re: Nearly lost my queen!
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 03:23:05 pm »
You probably did everything just right.  You are assured she is in the hive otherwise you would have to wonder for a while.  Peace of mind is a wonderful thing.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Nearly lost my queen!
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 04:04:55 pm »
You could have put her in the entrance. I would have due to the fact you are using queen excluders.
I have had several queens fly off during inspections and they always seem to find their way home. During my first year I had one fly off 3 times during one inspection. Since then I do not worry about them that much any more. Last week while moving a Nuc to a hive I had queen fly just as I was about to mark her. She still found her hive in the new box.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

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Re: Nearly lost my queen!
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2018, 06:34:02 pm »
Thanks Jim now I won't be so nervous about the Queen getting out of the hive.

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

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Re: Nearly lost my queen!
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2018, 07:00:09 pm »
Jim, my experiences are different from yours.  Not to argue with a master, Mr. Jim, I am just stating different observations.  I have not seen a queen fly off during inspections, I also don?t inspect new queens until they have had time to settle down.  I have watched many a queen on a frame and I don?t see fly offs.  My be my gentle genetics as I breed for calm bees that stay on the comb during inspections.  My test is to slowly wave my hand across a frame inches from the bees,,, the bees should not react.  Nervous bees are requeen.

I have seen one virgin queen fly off as I attempted to release her from her cage directly into a hive of bees that the queen had 3 days to acclamate.  I must have frightened the queen and I was not paying close enough attention to notice her nervous state.  I had already released 6 or so virgins so I dropped my guard and sure enough, she flew on me.  I never did find her, she was an easy to spot Cordovan Itialian.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Nearly lost my queen!
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2018, 08:47:16 am »
> I have not seen a queen fly off during inspections...

On a bad day I've had three fly off in a hour...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

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Re: Nearly lost my queen!
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2018, 08:43:47 pm »
Well, OK, two very experienced beeks, Jim and Bush both have seen fly off during inspections, so take their advice, not mine.  Again, must be my genetics: occasionally I will mark a queen and still no fly offs.  I do notice my queens do not like to be handled, but touch is OK, they just move out of the way, not frantic though.  I am a geneticist, human genome, not bees,, so I have some knowledge to select and breed for then carefully monitor F1 (first generation)stock.  I?ve talked with Dr. Latshaw and Sue Colby, both bee geneticist, each with unbelievable stock of impressive bees.  I have stock from Latshaw, queens are $565 each minimum of four.  Ya crazy price but if want to avoid fly offs and obtain some calm bees, either Colby or Latshsw stock is the apex.

I have seen nervous queens at a neighbors Apiary that I help out now and then.  Come to think of it, I would consider some of those queens to be as described by Jim and Bush that is queens that could easily be fly offs.  They are just nervous queens, some are runners on the comb and would even try to hide.

These nervous traits can be bred against if that is ones goal along with any other traits such as: honey production, resistance to disease, fecundity, foraging, against swarming, wing power, smell, gentleness/calm, wintering, fast spring developments, comb production, pollen gathering, tongue length, propololise, capping, brace comb, cleanliness, flight length, hygenic, brood patterns, beetle jailing...  Brother Adam did an excellent job detailing the most of the described traits of honey bees to select for.  No one bee has it all.
Blessings

Offline Robsc

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Re: Nearly lost my queen!
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2018, 11:11:50 am »
Van, with the impressive cost you have invested in your breeding program which trait do you see as your main goal for your apiary?  This is so fascinating. Thanks

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

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Re: Nearly lost my queen!
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2018, 02:48:29 pm »
Rob, I need to clarify one thing, I have not bought one of those expensive queens.  I obtain my stock from a friend that did invest in Latshaw stock.  Darnest queen I have ever seen, gentle, laying maniac with hygenic traits.

Rob: {Anyway what is the best trait?} That a very good question!!!

However to me there is no one single trait, rather a combination of traits that I breed queens for.  They are:
1.  gentleness, that is calm on the comb, not flighty.
1.  Quick spring build up, in my area, all forest, this is critical or my bees will miss out on the early flow, which is same as saying good Honey producers.
1.  Disease resistance.
1.  Winter survival.
1.  Hygenic traits.
1.  Comb building.

These mentioned traits are my basics and any hive not meeting all the above will be requeened.  Secondary traits are passing my hand wave test:  I slowly pass my ungloved hand 2-3 inches above the frames full of bees.  I just did this beginning August to demonstrate to a customer the gentleness of Alpha, my breeder queen.  Normally in August bee hives are full of honey and defensive, but my Alpha hive passed the test and the customer good not get a queen fast enough.

Again, I do not charge for queens, I give them away.  I will not ship and I already have folks in line for this stock of honey bees for 2019.

Offline Robsc

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Re: Nearly lost my queen!
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2018, 04:46:01 pm »
Van, I think for me the best trait has to be gentleness. Being new at this hobby is no fun if your face is always full of bees. It's hard enough to try and learn and focus without that distraction. I think it's great of you to just give away your queens.