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Looking for your Queen.

  • Find Your Queen.

Learning how to spot the queen is an essential skill. You need to check on her regularly to make sure she’s in the hive and laying eggs. Finding the queen can be difficult at first,

but if you know to look for the body shape, behaviour and location, you’ll get better at it.

  • Look for:

A long, narrow abdomen with a pointed end – other bees have a rounded abdomen.

Shorter wings – while workers’ wings reach almost to the end of their bodies, the queen’s wings only reach halfway down her abdomen.

Splayed legs – most bees tuck their legs under their bodies. The queen’s legs are longer and splayed out to either side.

Shiny back – the queen’s back tends to be shiny and hairless, compared with the fuzzier backs of worker bees.

  • Queen behaviour

The behaviour of the queen and the bees around her can also give you clues. Unlike worker bees, who tend to bustle around busily, she may stay in one place for a longer period. When she sits still, the queen is usually surrounded by a circle of worker bees, each facing toward her.

When she does move, other bees move out of her way, leaving a path of empty comb. This break in the regular movement of the hive can lead you to your queen.

  • Location in the hive

The queen’s main job is egg-laying, so it makes sense that she can usually be found on a brood frame. If you’re looking for your queen, bypass honey frames and capped brood, and check the fresher brood frames first.

Still can’t find her? Just close up the hive and try again later. If you have freshly laid eggs, then you likely have a queen but she is proving difficult to find.


Phil Marshall

Mob. 0416 343 204

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