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Author Topic: Queen being chased  (Read 87 times)

Offline Duane

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Queen being chased
« on: June 25, 2020, 02:21:31 pm »
I had noticed a hive that had lots of bees on the outside.  I opened the lid, and saw most of the frames had been filled.  I heard this squeaking noise.  Maybe "piping"?  I was trying to see where it was coming from and there was the queen running across the top bars, almost like she would fly away.  A few bees looked like they were chasing her.  I found her on several frames (she was moving rapidly), always running and several bees acting like she was an intruder, darting at her or chasing her.  Every once in awhile, I could see her pause, press her wings down and then I heard the noise.  I found no developed queen cells, but there were queen cups and a few of them had eggs in them.

What do people think is happening here, why the piping and chasing?

Offline Mamm7215

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Re: Queen being chased
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2020, 07:37:13 pm »
When a queen comes out she'll go looking for unhatched or other recently hatched queens to kill the unhatched queens or battle the hatched ones.  Sometimes the hive will have picked a favorite queen so if another hatches sooner they'll keep keep her away.  Typically that's why you hear piping.  Also when a queen pipes other bees around her stop moving momentarily, did you see that?  It could also be that they're getting ready to swarm and chasing her around to get her to lose weight so she's able to fly when they go.

Offline Duane

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Re: Queen being chased
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2020, 07:48:30 pm »
So if I'm understanding correctly, you are answering a question I had about should I allow multiple queen cells.  Do they know which unhatched cell has the better queen in it?  Because one hive I had removed the queen to a new box and removed all the queen cells but one.  It hatched out and eggs and brood were being raised, but quite a few drone cells and now queen cells.  If they know ahead of time which is the best cell, then it'd be best to let them manage it, uh?  I just don't want multiple swarms.

Or they are getting her ready for swarming.

Offline Mamm7215

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Re: Queen being chased
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2020, 07:56:25 pm »
I would allow multiple cells, yes.  They will sort it out themselves.  They've had millions of years of practice.  I guess it would be good to know if this is a single brood box hive, you said most of the frames had been filled.  If it's only one brood box and most of the frames had been filled then they are almost certainly getting ready to swarm.  Also if the new queen was kind of a dud they'll supersede her, so that's likely why you're seeing more queen cells.  Drone cells are pretty common this time of year, they should peter out by the middle/end of summer.  I have one whole medium frame of drone cells I'm about to take out of a hive and freeze to reduce mite load and stress on the honey making.  Several thousand drones don't do anything productive but they eat a lot of honey.