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How to Find Your Queen when You Can't Find Her

Finding a queen when you can’t find the queen

Sometimes despite your best efforts, you just can’t find that stinking queen! And you aren’t alone. Many many beekeepers struggle to find queens. Even experienced beekeepers can’t always find every queen in every hive. When you are trying to requeen a hive and can’t find the queen, the method below is a bit unconventional, but typically effective! 

  1. Smoke your hive.
  2. Pull each frame out and shake the bees off the frames in front of the hive. Ideally place some sort of “ramp” on the ground to the entrance for the bees to climb back into the hive, or set your hive directly on the ground. 
  3. Place a queen excluder between the bottom board and the bottom brood nest. 
  4. Put all the frames back into the hive in the same order you removed them. 
  5. Wait about 30 minutes.
  6. Go back and look on the ground where you shook the bees. Often times there will be a small cluster of a few dozen bees, along with the queen. If she isn’t there, look on the underside of the queen excluder. She will be trapped there as she tries to get back into the hive.
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