How Do You Find a Queen Bee?

A queen bee plays a vital role in honeybee colonies, responsible for laying eggs and maintaining the colony’s unity. Finding the queen bee amidst thousands of worker bees might seem like a difficult if not impossible task, but with a little knowledge and patience, it doesn’t have to be. If you’re looking for a queen bee, find some useful tips below.

Identify the Characteristics

Queen bees have distinctive features that set them apart from worker bees. They’re typically larger, longer and more elongated in shape. Their abdomen is also noticeably longer, and they have a tapered, pointed end. In addition, queens are usually darker in colour, sometimes even appearing black. Keep these characteristics in mind when searching for the queen to make it easier to spot.

Observe Egg-Laying Activity

One of the most reliable ways to identify the queen bee in a beehive is to watch for her egg-laying behaviour. The queen is the only bee in the colony that lays eggs, so if you spot a bee laying eggs in the cells, you've definitely found her. The queen moves gracefully and deliberately across the comb, often accompanied by worker bees attending to her.

Use a Queen Bee Marking Kit

Many beekeepers use queen bee marking kits that involve gently applying coloured dots to the queen's thorax. This makes it much easier to spot her during hive inspections, as you can simply look for the marked queen that stands out from the other bees in the hive.

Look for Attendant Bees

Queen bees are rarely alone. They’re typically surrounded by a court of attendant bees who groom and feed her. If you spot a group of bees tending to one bee, it's highly likely that the queen is at the centre of the activity.

Inspect the Hive Systematically

When inspecting a beehive, work methodically from frame to frame. Start from the outer frames and move inward. While inspecting each frame, pay close attention to any bees that stand out due to their size, shape or behaviour. Remember to approach the task with patience and care to avoid disturbing the hive unnecessarily and putting yourself at risk of being hurt.

Get More Helpful Tips Today

If you want to learn more about how to look for a queen bee, find great tips from the expert team at Buzzbee. Get in touch with us today and we’ll happily answer any questions you may have.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published