Since the survivability of a beehive depends heavily on a queen bee’s health, beekeepers must learn how to spot queens in their hives. It is an important skill, and it comes with quite a bit of practice. You have to sort through the tens of thousands of other bees to find the queen. Get started by reading about these three tricks to help you locate and identify a hive’s queen bee.
Number One: Understand Her Appearance
Once you understand what a queen bee looks like, and how she is set apart from different bees in the hive, you will be able to spot her among the others. The queen bee is bigger and longer than worker bees. Her abdomen stretches beyond the tips of wings, making her appear as though she has tiny wings. Her back is shiny and hairless, unlike the worker bees. As you become more experienced as a beekeeper, you’ll get better at spotting her in the hive.
Number Two: Essential Inspection Techniques
Next on this list of three tricks to help you locate and identify a hive’s queen bee are some simple inspection techniques. First of all, do not use a lot of smoke: too much smoke will push the queen into hiding. Second, start by looking at the brood nest. You're most likely going to find the queen on a frame with new eggs.
Number Three: Mark Your Queen
Many beekeepers simplify the process of searching for their queen by marking her thorax with a small dot. Doing this is easy; all you need is a marking pen. You must make sure to put the mark on the queen’s thorax and not on her wings and eyes. Doing so could harm her.
Spotting a queen by her mark, however, can become a crutch. If you mark your queens, and never learn how to find her without the marking, then you’re doing yourself a disservice as a beekeeper. Knowing how to find a queen should be a primary skill. Do not let it atrophy.
If you want to get started with a queen, contact The B Farm. We have VSH queen bees for sale.